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[personal profile] cremains
In a bag of art supplies, I found an uncarved block with a finished design. The design was of a hideous frog eviscerating itself, with blobs of intestines and blood pooling at its feet. Looking at it, I thought, ugh, enough of that. First of all, I have about 1000 pictures I made of self-evisceration. But second of all, I hate this artistic tendency in myself to take a self-hating instinct at its word. I don't think subject and act should be ugly, I think the art should aim to contradict the subject's perception.

It is also too bad what reaction this kind of art provokes. I painted a big portrait of a man slicing open his arm from wrist to elbow; that painting was bought and now hangs over someone's dinner table. This is how I know the painting failed miserably. I wanted someone to look at that painting and feel some urge to help, some counteremotion to the subject, the slicing was only meant to be one half of a whole which would be balanced by the pity or kindness of a viewer. But, I made it too sensationalist or cheap and this was not the effect it had.

It makes me think about how after Cato killed himself, Julius Caesar had him painted at the moment of ripping open his stomach stitches, and paraded it in his triumphal procession. The crowds were horrified and protested. If he had hired me to draw Cato I might have made something that would spark the kind of glee he wanted -- sadly.

Anyway, over this block I carved out a raven. It is a pretty cheesy image but at least the raven isn't pecking its leg off or ripping out its own spinal column. Hisda made many impressive blobs of colour in his notebook and sang along to Salt N Pepa as I worked.

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cremains: (Default)
this hill is far enough

February 2017


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