Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Batman and Robin -- Abstract Expressionist Pop Art ...

Details for the Painting: It was one of the dreams I had in color. I dreamt that as I walked on the streets of 1965 Manhattan, everyone was dressed as Bat Man or Superman. So I ducked into a nearby bank to tell someone about it and all of them were dressed in the same costumes.

In the painting I ended up portraying them as a pair of Medieval monks at the scene of a crime, in this case a cliff at sundown, the butte in the background catching the last light. It was one of my experiments using the pallet knife, here to administer the dark blue of the top of the precipice in the shadows of approaching night. In the atmosphere around the pair the lines of lighter color put on with, no doubt, a number five hogs hair bright paintbrush, convey the deep element of mystery in which the two persons have allowed their careers to become immersed.

The work vaguely qualifies as a form of pop art, since it's based on comic book characters. But here the characters become perhaps more credible as expressionism often does. The mind of the observer adds the reality of his or her world to the forms on the canvass. So this painting may therefore, by a stretch of the imagination, become an example of pop expressionism. It gives me a chance to get in there with reds and blues. Thalo and ultramarine, cadmium and alizarin.

But the two men, through the impasto and the a la prima of the work, start to look far less preposterous than they might in the comic books.

Though you cannot see their face you can in fact detect from their body language the sadness and sanguine demeanor they have accumulated in the years of solving mysteries that were related to crime and the darker aspect of humanity in which things are done in secret to elude detection. 

It too is a premonition in which I foresee myself having to bear the same weight of melancholia as the over two hundred thousand mile travels of my subsequent years would reveal discovery of machinations, both of individuals and of collectives, all too depressing for words. Yet I couldn't arm myself with a devise as Bat Man can do in the painting (though it does look somewhat like a cricket bat, therefore really making him a bat man), nor could I sequester myself in the solace of the long monk's robe as does his counterpart, Robin.

But I comfort myself in one of my sayings at this point in my long journey: "The earth may have it's problems, but it does have some spectacular views."

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