For my birthday on the 30th I went to see the Egon Schiele show at the Neue Galerie by myself.
One of my favorite images in the Schiele show was this.
I didn’t realize he did something like that til I saw it. the picture was hung about knee high- obviously the curators didn’t want it smack in front of their genteel visitors’ faces. I was the only one to hunch down to scrutinize the drawing. I had done something similar- but whereas Schiele used a nubile model I used a friend from the opposite spectrum. I think mine are better.
In my drawings there is none of Schiele’s gleeful male freshman delight in a woman’s eroticized body. There is only matter-of-factness. Thus, and thus. Her inertness preserves her. She is not my playground. She is a mountain.
After seeing the Schiele show, Klimt ‘s statement to the younger artist becomes clear, when Klimt said Schiele had “much too much” talent…and it confirms what I have recently thought about Schiele…he was an immature artist. He spent the first decade of his artistic life shaking off Klimt and Kokoshka’s influence, regurgitating things they’ve done 5-10 years before.. It wasn’t until just before his death that he started finding himself. His tremendous talent was his downfall. It made art too easy, too facile for him. Klimt , the greater artist, was warning him like a father.
Also Schiele’s prison drawings were just plain awful.
Later in the evening, I drew :
My dog Ripley while I drew my model
it’s like you’re this one-winged thing flapping around on the ground- then maybe you find another- also floundering around with one wing. then by holding on to each other you both manage to lift off…
yes. I wanna draw it like it’s a fucking elbow. demystify. defetishize. face the Minotaur in the labyrinth. then sit across the Minotaur , drink wine and discuss global economies and poetry and why it prefers a certain place as opposed to another- whether nostalgia plays a role…
so to see the backbone of New York City, take a train ride at 5:30- 6am in the morning from any of the outer boroughs…one of those mornings I noticed a poster behind one of these early morning commuters; it was about an art show somewhere highlighting the working class, and I just know that that tired person nodding asleep in front of the poster has not noticed it- and if she did, it would be just like some random graffiti scrawl on the wall or runes on a rock: meaningless
and then, uncharacteristically, some days sudden panic attacks that punch me in the gut…looking around in that subway car: baby carriages, that veined hand on a cane, the two teenagers kissing, the man with the briefcase, that pretty woman with green hair and another clutching Rite-Aid bags, a screaming child. sort of being in a time capsule…this is all we will ever know. all the life we will ever have.all these will be gone. but not before growing cancers or tumors, killing, hating, loving, disappointing, lusting, mixed with degrees of ignorance and self-righteousness- all swirling in a vat of endless necessity. points of necessity connecting to constellations of needs and wants and priorities. and the only thing that gives me my breath back are those moments only my ears and eyes and skin have seen, rare and isolated , and within the context of that subway car: utterly meaningless
Below are drawings from my most recent session, as well as pictures of my newly re-painted room ( from the original bright orange walls). There’s also a picture of my improvised night light which works perfectly. If I manage to find a good balance between work and art I predict a very productive year ahead in this new place!
She lay on the bed, alternating between reading a book and napping. I worked on the floor, crouched over several yards of unstretched canvas. Periodically I would get up and talk above her , watching the light play over her skin, the way one of her eyebrows arched, the flash of glass-blue in her eyes as she turned away from the window. All these hundred things I saw, or more properly, absorbed in instants. Sometimes I would lay down next to her, and then my skin my nose my ears would see her.
What was I making on the floor on that unfurled canvas ? Not quite a portrait, not quite a map, not quite the diagram of another human being.