This weblog explores asemic writing in relation to post-literate culture
When it comes to narrative in painting I'm a glutton for punishment. But I don't mind it when it somehow makes fun of itself. I try and go by Deibenkorn's rules for beginning a painting. #5 - Don't "discover" a subject of any kind. Suddenly though, the subject matter is right in the face. I realize why Guston kicked that rule in the nuts. He said hey, if abstract art is about freedom, then I should have the freedom to paint the subject matter that's right in front of my face all the time. By-the-book abstract impressionists hated him for that decision. In the neutral zone symbol can reign if it has enough chutzpah. Here in Red Fish really I'm looking at the upright icon, the asemetic cursive loop upwards, a fish across the board in recognizable world-wide fashion. Sometimes something hits you over the head so many times you just need to shout out it's name just to bring on the sound of silence again. Red Fish was successful to me because it conjured up some early 1900's huskily paletted still-life of lead-heavy fish, and I got it to sit on the canvas as a hopefully crude, accidental something that makes me feel I'm painting the non-objective at the same time. I want both the kinds of freedoms Diebenkorn and Guston were talking about. But really I spend much time bashing away the narrative and trying to get rid of it. It's the same reason I think many modernists/neutralists have ghosts of a-frame line house floating in their ethers, and also do not have them.
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