Peter’s Crazy Aunt #11: All This Useless Beauty (Cluster of Rainbows)

Edward G. Nilges, “State of Peter’s Crazy Aunt as of 18 Dec 2010 10:00 PM (final grisaille state)”, acrylic on canvas, 20″x30″

Edward G. Nilges, “State of Peter’s Crazy Aunt as of 18 Dec 2010 12:00 PM (initial colour state)”, acrylic on canvas, 20″x30″

Edward G. Nilges, “Tryptch for Peter’s Crazy Aunt”, desaturated photographs of acrylic painting, 18 Dec 2010

Edward G. Nilges, “Fouillis d’arcs-en-ciel, pour l’Ange qui annonce la fin du Temps, for Peter’s Crazy Aunt”. Photograph of detail of acrylic painting montaged with accidental photo of same and part of a painting made at Open Space, Lamma Island, 2010. 18 Dec 2010.

It’s at times such as this she’d be tempted to spit
If she wasn’t so ladylike
She imagines how she might have lived
back when legends and history collide
So she looks to her prince finding he’s so charmingly
slumped at her side
Those days are recalled on the gallery wall
And she’s waiting for passion or humour to strike
What shall we do, what shall we do with all this useless beauty?
All this useless beauty

Good Friday arrived, the sky darkened on time
‘Til he almost began to negotiate
She held his head like a baby and said “It’s okay if you cry”
Now he wants her to dress as if you couldn’t guess
He desires to impress his associates
But he’s part ugly beast and Hellenic deceased
So she finds that the mixture is hard to deny

She won’t practice the looks from the great tragic books
That were later disgraced to face celluloid
It won’t even make sense but you can bet
If she isn’t a sweetheart or plaything or pet
The film turns her into an unveiled threat

Nonsense prevails, modesty fails
Grace and virtue turn into stupidity
While the calendar fades almost all barricades to a pale compromise
And our leaders have feasts on the backsides of beasts
They still think they’re the gods of antiquity
If something you missed didn’t even exist
It was just an ideal — is it such a surprise?

Elvis Costello

The Siren (below in a non-likeness) thought that black won’t work with the relaxed gaiety of the figure, but La Sirene doesn’t know any more than I do where this is going (cf notes below about artistic originality), and I am interested in its Goyescas: the idea of painting a beauty surrounded by a black. Which means the clash of pink and black is now part of my intention.

I remain fascinated by the initial application of colour to chiaroscuro and am enchanted by the possibility of the human face. Modernism seems superficial. I want the depth, the space, of Richard Strauss, the late Strauss, the Last Songs of 1948.

The strength and errors of my drawing unreconciled, shining through, the firmness of the figure, here I stand, ich kann nicht anders, walking towards the TSA scanner at the airport.


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