Friday, October 30, 2009

On Figure Painting

Today I picked up one of my favorite studio books as I sat pondering my next painting. These words could not more clearly articulate my thinking and position on painting as of late, and its utter importance in light of our newly abbreviated attention spans via the 24 hour news cycle, the pure overload of twitter one-liners, and the facebook status update.

It reminded me of how easy it is to connect with history and humanity just by standing in front of one great painting in a museum and reacting to it. These thoughts make me wonder what the constant onslaught of mostly mundane online sharing really has to offer, and how it will change the information we compile to understand the world.

Anyway, this is just a small snippet, but I felt as though these words were my own:

Most artists who have chosen to concentrate on painting seem in agreement that painting offers an antidote to the rat-tat-tat of images that are shot at us from every corner of our daily lives.  Paintings create pauses in life, and offer distillations of subjects rather than unconnected snapshots.  We experience the world as if it were a painting being completed -- multiple views are built up over time to become fused in our memory.  We don't see in the present, but through knowledge compiled in both the recent and the distant past.  We don't understand the world through a series of frozen moments seen out of context and subjectively cropped, divested of meaning. 
-Charlotte Mullins, from her book Painting People, Figure Painting Today. Buy it.

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