Where Dat Burp #2: face and gesture study


This is another series of “working papers” in which I document the development of a painting using the indirect method of the European masters in acrylics, a line drawing, ink and wash, grisaille and then color, keeping the layers thin at all times to let the light bounce off the pure white of the canvas and come to your eyes.

Years ago, my young wife was burping my eldest and he said his first word, since in response to “where dat burp” he “said” the word for burp, “erp”…at three months. He was good!

The task is to figure out how my son hangs on and looks up to say “erp”, and the ambiguity (joy and sadness) in his Mom’s face, for he is Parsival and she is Herzeliede, hearts-sorrow, whose husband Gamuret shall fall in foreign lands.

Mom is dressed in modern “grubbies”. My son’s Mom was not a fan in any particular way of the Chicago Cubs: putting the team name on her T shirt in the first post was just pandering for hits from Cubs fans.

The face will probably not be a portrait, to protect the privacy of one who is a former wife and because I cannot do likenesses worth dick (although in Ms. Kyi’s face, I am trying).

The idea is based on my love for the mediaeval Madonnas in the Louvre, real women of a world “lit only by fire” adjusting their babies on their hips in the market place.

My former wife sent me some Polaroids after our divorce, taken with that camera that was a wonder in its time, where the colors developed on the photograph after the photo was ejected.

One of them I’d taken to document the fact that we’d left an apartment in good shape when we bought our house.

My wife was holding Number One Yi Son at the end of a feature of this flat, a long and gloomy hallway which seemed to need stag’s heads and suits of armor.

She and my son looked like a Madonna and Child, with her long robe, and my son turning towards the camera.

Is this stalking? Search me. I was married to her and think every day of my children, who mostly don’t contact me. I have no “property rights” in her image, but I’ll be God Damned if this story is no longer mine, too. After all, my son was taking after me, since when I was a stock clerk, I would entertain (?) my male co-workers and gross out the office ladies with loud fake burps like an idiot.

The reduction of all men, including geezers like me, to adolescent “stalkers” shows the violence of the Concept when in my case, I am primarily concerned with maintaining contact with the kids in a world that’s going to hell. It is also a universal castration and the elimination of the word “man”, and I don’t have to go along with it.

And, art is my choice as opposed to going bat shit over these issues.

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