September 9, 2013

The Gaze

I generally come across interesting finds when I’m looking for something else or generally straightening up and organizing. There were two works of art that emerged from the depths of time, and old suitcase, and a reorganized dresser. One dated from 1985 and the other from 1986. The one dated from 1985 was made in the final year of a life of study, work and play in China. I had made a series of watercolor and gouache paintings for a final thesis exhibition at the Beijing Central Art Academy that later became known as “Two into One” - a pun on a saying of Chairman Mao. Each one of these depicted primitive human forms that were derived from pictographic stone seal carvings from around the Han dynasty. They were each pairs of human beings generally in an unequal relationship. One of the paintings from the series was a man and a woman - the woman shrinking as the man’s eye grows frighteningly large. For some reason I painted a second version of that painting which surfaced again after I was hunting up some matt board. I’ve renamed the painting “The Gaze,” and although it is old, I may use it for an upcoming exhibition about Civil Rights and Women at the I.P. Stanback museum that I was invited to submit work for. “The Gaze”would probably fit the theme of the exhibition. Perhaps because it so graphically depicts the critical scrutiny and objectification of women.

My husband has been bitten by the organizing bug as well and recently went through an old suitcase. He found my old paint box, then an old notebook. I asked him to keep a lookout for a dream diary that I had kept in 1986 in Holland. I recall that I kept it because the long dark rainy days for some reason provoked, maybe as an antidote, rich and colorful dreams at night. When I started writing poetry a few years ago, it occurred to me that it would be a great resource for paintings and poetry. Sure enough, Nat found that book as well. So there will be more blasts from the past ahead. Just as Proust said, when an artist gets old, he plagiarizes from the resources of his youth.

1 comment:

Pippa Moss - Welsh Quilts said...

Hi Janet, Have made contact again with Kris Miller and she pointed me in this direction. I,m still living in Suffolk UK, still busy with work and I am now self employed as a bookkeeper (I was a science lecturer for many years) kids grown blog is which is mostly about my quilts, antique quilts and their history and our bellringing at the many old churches nearby. Hope to hear from you , Pippa (Moss, was Palmer)