Sunday, June 13, 2010

out of storage

this box was full of 10x10's and 12x12's destined for the attic.  last night i kept hearing nails being tapped into the upstairs walls.  david was hanging my work!  these small paintings are from a 2 year series documenting the years 2003-2005.  these were the transitional years of loss and rebuilding, which included 2 moves within one year.   during the packing up, selling, moving i continued to paint everyday.  and by the end of the 2 years, i had turned on the work of my grief by distressing the work with handwashing, ironing, sanding, cutting, tearing, re-stretching, trying to erase what had happened.  and i discovered one can never completely erase a painting.  all i did was to change the work to a new state, sort of the bare essentials of materials.  a document of where i had been.

what drove this?  i remembered the chapel in the friari in venice.  a pre-gothic fresco, exposed after several hundred years protected behind an ornamental ceiling, disappeared within months of its exposure to 20th century weather/pollutants.  crystalline, salty brilliance glistened from that dome when i was there.  there was absolutely no trace of the fresco documented in the photos along the walls, and yet, a whitely brilliant energy emanated from the blank frescoed ceiling above.  this was the most profoundly spiritual work that i saw in all of venice.  this is the memory that still holds.  my attempt to recreate this experience in my art is on these 200+/- panels.   they look good on the walls.  here is a red one that i tried to 'cover up'. 

following is another red erasure.  this one was gold leaf and egg tempera with oil.  now, it's pigment, ground, support.  david hung this one under the skylight and right next to the toilet.

the following is now installed next to the shower.  it will be interesting to see how these works hold up to the 21st century environment of gloucester harbor, as they are, they appear to be exactly as they were the day i stopped working on them. 

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