February 10, 2014

Antithetical Teapots

Working up to the last minute as usual, I could not help but add a few more things to my exhibition of small works the day before my opening party. One of these was a small painting of an imaginary teapot to be paired with a painting/monoprint that I had completed previously. The former one, “Interior Person in a Teapot,” was meant to be a part of my small paintings of imaginary vessels. The trouble was it stood out as different from all the rest. The paintings of small bottles were all vertical in orientation and the teapot was horizontal. It was also an image of a very different sort of vessel. As a result I didn’t hang this painting with the others but alone on a section of another wall.

Deciding that this painting required a partner I made an equal but opposite image of a teapot. Hung side by side, they looked like the antithetical couplets of Chinese poetry. The first was dark on light and this one was light on dark. The phrase I selected for this vessel was “Eternal Person.” to contrast with the words “Interior Person” in the dark on light teapot. The words, in Chinese seal script, were a little hard to read because I printed the stamp onto wet paint but I did want the words to be somewhat amorphous.

Like the first painting, the second one was done for the most part as a stamp on top of a monoprint. The painting/print came about more slowly than I had anticipated. I thought I had saved the block from the first teapot but apparently I had discarded it. So I created it anew. Creating a new styrofoam teapot form to print enabled me to make this one pointing in the opposite direction of the former - a true antithetical painting.

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