Blackpaint 101

An American in Paris

Here’s one I forgot to mention in my survey of films about art (see Blackpaint 64).  It’s actually on BBC4 at the moment.  1952, Gene Kelly as an impoverished American painter named Gerry Mulligan (!), pursuing Lesley Caron.  The music is Gershwin and therefore fantastic, but more disturbing is the “art”.  Kelly’s own pictures are rough old cityscapes but walking through Montmartre, he passes an abstract painter – and the paintings looked good, sort of a bit Miro-ish. 

This on its own might be an aberration, but a couple of nights ago, there was another film, a documentary this time, called: “My kid could do that”, about a little (4 year old, I think) American girl called Marla something, who was turning out abstract paintings – and again, I thought they looked great!  Turns out that her artist father was giving her a hand, a bit of instruction/advice here and there, but even so…

So, now I’m thinking I can’t tell a good painting from a mock-up for a 50s musical, or the creation of a little girl with a bit of input from the old man.  And so, back to Aphrodite at the Waterhole. 

The Vivisector

By Patrick White, getting a lot of publicity at the moment, as it was published in 1970 and was one of the “lost” Bookers: I’m reading it at the moment, very slowly, but its a great, lifelong portrait of an artist with a “vivisecting” eye; based apparently on a mixture of Nolan and Bacon.

Crap image, I know; but the lightburst actually enhances it a bit, I think.

Listening to the Delta anthem, “Walking Blues” by Muddy Waters – is it better even than Robert Johnson’s, or Son House’s? Yes, I think so – but going by the above, who am I to tell?

“I woke up this morning, feeling round for my shoes,

Know by that I got them ol’ walking blues…”



Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: