Posts Tagged ‘Witherspoon’

Blackpaint 27

January 2, 2010

Barthes and Foucault

These French postmodern philosophers wrote about” the Death of the Author” (title of a book by Barthes)-the idea was no artwork is new or original; all art is basically a cut and paste job.  Artists are merely copying and reassembling previous ideas.  And the reader/viewer creates the meaning.  This sounds about right for my stuff again; when anyone asks me what’s going on in one of my paintings, I can refer them to these two (and Lyotard).

Sir John Soane’s House

Visited this strange, crowded museum in Lincoln’s Inn Fields today; full of casts – I think – of bits of tomb, column, friezes, sarcophagi, vases, books, paintings in a gloomy house designed by Soane himself.  Bridges and skylights, arches and coloured glass.  Full of attendants, and on the chairs, what at first looked like toy mice.  They turned out to be teasel heads, I assumed for brushing up the plush seats – but no.  An attendant told one of the visitors that they were to stop people sitting on the chairs; once you received a bottomful of the painful spines, you would think twice about doing it again.

This no-nonsense approach was also displayed by the volunteer marshalling the (tiny) queue outside; in a jovial tone, he told the man in front that there was no drawing allowed on Saturdays – and continued, “If you are caught drawing, you will be asked to leave immediately.”  Maybe foreigners, particularly Americans, respond to this treatment well – evidence of British eccentricity.  I was surprised to get in, shabbily dressed in jeans, my son wearing trainers.


It’s famous for the Hogarth paintings, notably the Elections (just about visible in the gloom).  The one affable attendant – woman from Sheffield, I think – told us that the paintings were really secondary to the engravings, as far as H was concerned; they were a sort of advert or demonstration sampler for the latter.  also some good Fuselis, and scenes from Shakespeare – Lear, the Dream, Merry Wives – in which the main character always has those staring eyes and tragic expression that I associate with Blake.


Jimmy, not Reece.  Listening to: “Times are Getting Tougher than Tough” with T Bone on guitar.

“Prices gettin’ steeper, Money’s gettin’ cheaper,

Had myself a woman, but I just couldn’t keep her-

Times gettin’ tougher than tough,

Things gettin’ rougher than rough,

Well, I made a lot of money, but I just keep spendin’ the stuff”.