Monday, May 5, 2008
Self-Portrait, Acute and Self-Portrait, Poignant
"I want to touch people with my art. I want them to say 'he feels deeply, he feels tenderly.'" ~Vincent van Gogh
These two little paintings are two of the the more directly emotional pieces that I have ever done. Aside from "February 2005" these paintings contain a lot within their borders. "Self-Portrait, Acute"..the top painting is 8"x6", oil on canvas. "Self-Portrait, Poignant" is 9"x7", oil on canvas.
Most of my work is typically subtle from a narrative standpoint. I like to keep my subjects' emotions below the surface, just barely out of reach. I like withholding any sort of overt message, but prefer to let the viewer come to their own conclusions. One person might see serenity while the next sees melancholia. I do enjoy an ambiguity within my paintings....because life is so relative to each of us...no one experiences the same exact feeling at any given time.
These two little paintings fly in the face of my usual tone and inspiration. I painted them to capture another facet of the human condition, a cathartic moment of release;the most natural of actions...the first thing we did when we were born and the shedding of tears that we will do again and again in life, depending on the time and circumstances.
These were two little challenges to myself, two experiments...I wanted to test myself, to see if I could paint such a paroxysm of feeling on the canvas. I knew that they were a departure from the usual mood of my paintings but the concept excited me and I could not rest until they were finished.
The reaction to the pieces has ranged from sadness, to awkwardness to happiness. Perhaps people looking at them can see themselves in the work as well, a little window into a bit of their own history.