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June 10, 2004

truth and lies

Artists have a difficult time of it. What we’re trying to do is impossible. We, painters that is, lurk in that tricky area: a Field of Impossibility. [not to be confused with a Field of Uncertainty, nor indeed a Field of Cows].

For it is impossible to put a three dimensional object onto a two dimensional surface.

Okay, if you flatten your subject matter out with judicious use of a Steam Roller, you can get the desired two dimensional properties, but you tend to lose a lot of the character of the piece. I suggest this for painters of Still Life only, as the Guardians of the Law get rather keen on artists running over models in the interest of Art.

Figurative sculptors have a head start, working in three dimensions as they do, they have no recourse to the Steam Roller - but their cause is not ours.

“before being a horse or a nude or some sort of anecdote – a painting is essentially a flat surface covered with colours assembled in a certain order”
Maurice Denis

After that it’s all tricks, it’s all lies. Picasso said: “we all know that art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realise the truth.” Mind you he would have said something more like: “nous savons que l’Art n’est pas vrai. L’art est une mensonge…”

So it’s all very well getting the broken line, and the tonal values and the attractive hue, in the end it either has IT or it doesn’t. IT being some kind of truth, some kind of integrity. Something that comes unknowingly from deep inside the artist.

Alors, Pablo! N’oublie pas les sandwiches du lardons

Posted by john at June 10, 2004 05:40 PM

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