Monday, January 28, 2013

Destruction of paintings: whys and wherefores

As I mentioned yesterday, I've decided I need another bout of destroying my own paintings. 

I used to be shocked and saddened whenever I read about one great artist or another destroying some of their work from time to time, but now I know that this sort of cleansing is just necessary from time to time (at least if your work doesn't just sell off the easel). And it's not just obviously failed paintings that go into the (metaphorical) bonfire; it might turn out to be necessary to destroy better ones, too.  

There are many reasons why, and they are certainly somewhat different for different people. What is essential to me is that the paintings' mere presence shifts, as it were, the center of gravity of my life, from the spiritual essence of painting as a process to care and handling of its imperfect material manifestation. Because they don't just sit there, you see: they want to be seen, and so I ought to be the one to provide them with this opportunity. Instead of being in service to the power of color, as I need and want, I gradually grow into a servant to these canvases and panels. And only very, very few of them may really deserve that. 

This one above, for example, certainly does not. It might have become a nice decoration for someone's living room, but there is only so much I am prepared to do to help it find that living room. And so, it's new destiny is a painting support for one of +Abigail Markov 's enchanting encaustics.      

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