Blackpaint 39


Finally got round to hanging our paintings today, half a dozen each, one pub wall each; mine are all orange-y, my partner’s are all turquoise and mauve.  Mine were all part of a series – you never know, someone might feel they ought to buy them all for the sake of completeness.  then again, it might put possible buyers off buying any of them.  I find one always indulges in these fantasies about buyers when paintings first go up; after that, the days pass quietly…

Fischli and Weiss again

Still thinking about the Tate Modern exhibit by these two;  it strikes me that it is difficult to explain the point of it.  There is a sort of tableau of a workspace, in which every mundane article has been perfectly reproduced with great skill and unusual patience – and it’s done so well that you have to be told that it’s all artificial.  So – the gallery visitor raises a smile, wonders at the ingenuity on display and appreciates the humour.  Is that it?  All of it?

The answer will be that it raises questions.  That’s how most explanations of conceptual art begin; “it raises questions about (a,b.c)” …  I’m not being sarcastic here, I think it’s good to raise questions in art, better than answering them, really.  F &W raise questions about the application of artistic skills, or craft.  Does the high level of skill and painstaking work involved in reproducing this stuff raise the finished article above the level of the mundane?  if not, then art is not necessarily about skill, patience, hard work and perfection.  Again, I’m aware that these points will have been made many times and much better elsewhere – but I’m still working through them.


Giles Brandreth was on TV last night, mentioning the theory that Turner (and Monet, apparently) suffered from cataracts and this may go some way towards explaining the particular artistic vision he showed in his later paintings.  Interesting, this line of thinking – did Picasso or de Kooning have some visual peculiarity that led them..  I’m being facetious, of course – but now I think I remember reading in Michael Peppiat’s book on Bacon that Giacometti once told him (Bacon) that people really did look “like that” to him!  We’ve got a Van Gogh repro in the toilet, and the tree trunks in it remind me of how trees looked to me the last time I took LSD (many years ago), except that they weren’t pulsing.  Maybe Van Gogh… no, it wasn’t around then – but maybe absinthe?  

Listening to Bluebird Blues, John Lee “Sonny Boy” Williamson.

“Now Bluebird, Bluebird, please take this letter down south for me

Now you can tell my babe that I’m up in St.Louis,

Oh, but I’m just as blue as I can be.”



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