Slide Show - Images (mostly) from The Illustrated History of Painting


Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Illustrated History of Painting

The Illustrated History of Painting is the tongue in cheek working title for an hundred image (each a roughly A4 sized hardwood panel) constellation of paintings that, in one way or another, allegorically allude to the practice of painting. 50 completed 50 more to go.

Think of the project as visual arena rock. You know, the sort of self-serving lyrical solipsism one encounters in an arena band's lament about life on the road. In other words art about art.

In the dawning years of the 21st century there is precious little art that isn't about art itself. The visual arts have become a sort of minor league Worm Ouroboros. No, Not the Eric Rucker Eddison fantasy novel, you knuckle-wikipedia-heads, but the original, and historically recurring, notion of a 'worm' (an archaic term for dragon) that consumes itself......from ass-end upward.

In most versions of the story (sometimes mythologically employed to explain the waxing and waning moon) the worm consumes itself and then inexplicably restores itself anew.

If I were to curate a myth - in regard to the making of these paintings - I'd paint a picture of an artist immobilized by events
. A practitioner dwindling in a solvent of unbecoming.

By happenstance, finding scraps of hardwood lying about the studio from a previous foray... and with nothing more promising than a vague notion of sketching out scenarios of his own undoing (pictorially utilizing the emblematic tools of his own trade) the practitioner, instead of eating himself alive (as intended) manages to reinvent himself (disconcertingly) anew.

Watch this page for news of its public life.