MIERCOLES, EL SIETE DE OCTUBRE, DOS MIL NUEVE (!Feliz cumpleanos Thom E. Yorke!)
On Sunday, I mentioned a crucifixion drawing by San Juan de la Cruz that came to him in a vision. I remembered I used the image on a small transportable devotional painting I did in 2005. These were an odd group of works, intuitively unravelled after a big overseas trip to the UK, USA and Europe in 2004. This particular work, called Bath Salts, was in reaction to a residency I'd completed in Arbroath, Scotland a year before. This is where the Scottish Declaration of Independence was signed. In turn, America used this document as a framework for their declaration. So, I wanted to link it back to New Zealand and this double-panelled, double-sided painting was the outcome.
I think I used the San Juan drawing (seen below, detail and with relic in frame) to describe the concept of perspective, not as in Alberti but as in a particular attitude towards, or a way of regarding something in particular.
The oblique title refers to the small images around the edges of the top canvases - taken from old New Zealand notes, once released from their numerical currency context, for me, they took on the form of those candy-looking cakes you throw in the bath.
Unravelled intuition indeed.
More Sphinx: a painting reference to Venus in Furs, a movie I went to see with Jo at one of the Wellington Film Festivals, probably around 2003-4. I'd started looking at the Symbolist painters in my 4th year at art school, specifically Von Stuck, Elschemius, Khnopff and Bernard, oh and the guy who did the pterodactyl with the glove - can't remember his name. I was stuck in my work and Peter Ireland suggested looking at that specific period of esthete painting.
A few years later, revisiting Von Stuck, re-listening to The Velvet Underground (song based on the book), listening to the new P J Harvey cd and watching a couple of Werner Herzog films (Klaus Kinski was in Venus In Furs), this painting (on the right) came out - called Religious Instruction. (oil on canvas, 2005)
I should have really wrung out the synchronicity by reading the Sacher-Masoch book that the movie was based on. Oh well...
I think what jogged my memory was going to see Hot Pink Bits by Penny Ashton on Saturday night - she mentioned Sacher-Masoch in her 'fetish' act.

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