It’s neither a thesis nor an antithesis
Art and writing are such good friends, and such bad enemies, that it’s almost too much of a risk to write anything in the frame after what Basquiat and Cy Twombly gave us. The challenge is to keep one’s cool and not to write banal things like, “I love you,” when you could have just said that to your latest crush.
The mad markings of an eccentric artist are also kind of ho-hum now. I don’t think that the artwork it’s too amazing if it looks like you just killed someone and wrote a haunting message in blood on the walls. Like Redrum in The Shining. I think that dire expressions of disgust or outrage should be held back until the kids have been packed off to bed. Call me old-fashioned.
I don’t mind a direct address, so that when you look at the painting it seems like it’s about you, but I’d rather have characters talk about something that has happened in my life. That’s the ultimate thrill for me (ok as far as pictures are concerned), to bring the whole challenge of the day into one frame without having say a simple, “BANG!” or “WHAM!” like some disciple of Roy Lichtenstein.
I prefer to construct words like S.T.A.R.T bearing in mind that if you remove the first two letters you get the word ART and if you remove only one you get the word TART. All three words are highly effective in introducing some fundamental dynamic that runs through the artist’s life. We are hungry, culpable and spend enormous time embarking on things that we cannot finish.
There are times that I wish I could write messages in blood. But I’m really trying hard to figure out whose blood it would have to be. In the meantime, I think I’ll stick to crayons and paint.