Drips Drip

This painting project is pushing me around. I guess that’s what we want with painting. To be shoved down the stairs, launched from the cliff, sucker-punched with the unexpected. Therein will be the situation where learning can take place. Where the painting can become unstable – precipice walking. Wherein the painter can become vulnerable and thus relate to the viewer. There is something there about knowing, and how to know.

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On one hand, a person could be in an unstable place. “Travel broadens the mind,”is the saying. In that traveling the mind encounters the unexpected and unknown. In that unknown is the moment wherein the traveler can choose to adapt their knowing to the new experience, or disregard the encounter. Disregard the alien and continue with the present knowing. So be shocked and adapt or be shocked and disregard. There is also the knowing that abrades then polishes – shock and study.

Painting can operate in this same way. Josef Albers homage’d to the square over a thousand times. Over twenty-five years inquiring after color through the limited variable of a singular composition. Peter Dreher painted (kind of) the same painting for decades. So maybe Albers and Dreher were polishing their knowing of a thing. They had a subject and worried it for decades. They knew what they would be doing within a limited set of variables. They had to show up and work.

There are other approaches wherein art creates complete instability in the making and receiving. Many artists’ work is oppositional, retributive, and especially abrasively challenging. In that abrasion in the possibility to learn, or to disregard.

This project is pushing me to learn. Firstly there is the long painting that drips on itself. Secondly there is the collaborative component of this project wherein I paint on other peoples’ paintings. It has all been disruptive.

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Painting Painting at Both Ends, acrylic on canvas in progress, 60×21

This Painting Painting at Both Ends, has a wholly unexpected compositional gravity. Wherein I previously obsessed over the self-organizing system of the grid, this particular approach spins that fractally, looping, ouroborosian self-organizing method upon its head. The drips drip. They do follow gravity but the paintings are hung in wacky ways. They are all hung on the wall via hanging wires, but the entire painting is weighty, so each stretching causes drips in many directions.

Further, the knowing that the entirety of the painting will be interacting with each stretching causes each painting to occur in a non-standard Jay method of work. I know that each painting need not be the pinnacle of making. I also know that much of the paintings will be covered up by future paintings. I know that each painting will not be singularly alone. It will have many neighbors. The composition is legion.

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detail of the larger painting. Half of this has now been covered. Further, this painting will continue to be dripped upon, just like the rest of the work.

The collaborative portion continues. Mei Mei Chang visited today and I handed off a painting.

See more of Mei Mei Chang’s work at http://meimeichang.tumblr.com

 

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