August 16, 2013

Contractual Agreements

I often like to make art work that is ambiguous. I do this because I want the viewer, and hopefully future owner of the work, to weave his or her own tapestry of meaning about the subject and what it may mean. To underscore the equivocal meaning of the visual form, I usually select titles for works that are very much open to interpretations. In keeping with this theme I’ve just finished the charcoal and pastel drawing posted above and entitled it “Contractual Agreements.”

The drawing began as a sketch of a couple I saw in a café in Germany. When I finished the drawing yesterday I took away the food and drink and substituted pieces of paper on the table. The mood is tense and even a bit somber. The man is in the act of lifting a piece of paper. For the woman to sign? He looks cautiously intense. The woman is more difficult to read. Is she happy? Satisfied? Eager? Also cautious?

What kind of contract the couple is entering in to is also up to the viewer to interpret. Is it a contract that binds or a contract that severs a relationship? They could be a husband and wife, brother and sister, or have no relationship at all. It is and will remain a mystery.

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