Thoughts on painting


Unlike real artists I find painting to be a private process. Similar to what we do in the toilet. There’s a reason why the door is opened AFTER the flush. I used to think that is was the fear of criticism but it’s not. Its just the helplessness of explaining the inexplicable (in words) when someone says: “I love your colours-but what does it mean?”. “I have no idea and most likely never will” is the only honest answer.

I have no artistic agenda or clearly visible “messages” to communicate in my painting. They are at best unconscious memos to myself from an inaccessible part of the mind. Yet even that explanation feels suspicious. A knee jerk caused by being cornered to explain the unknown or pressed for a title.

“Art” is the realm of “arty” types with long hair in kurthas and Levis. A respectable Sunday painter does proper paintings like landscapes that go with the sitting room furniture or portraits of relatives from photos. I do the perspective thing but of strange meaningless architectural things. I think it is the type of thing that would make most people look for the explanatory label and brochure. Oddly though there are those who have liked the shapes and the colours and paid money for it. The consequences I found to be strangely draining.

Admitting that you’re paintings are products of unfathomable internal dictates gives an aura of psychological darkness — of hidden psychological instabilities. All of which are bad for one’s reputation and social network links. The best I can hope for is the mask of a harmless eccentricity. Which I keep on a small table in the corner with the paint and paper.

4 comments

  1. […] My experience of painting makes it feel like the consequence of a digestive process. The inputs are the experiences of being alive. It triggers unfathomable internal processes (in contrast to the well documented human digestive process). The processes that digests the experience of living (how ever dully) into the compulsion to paint, write, sign etc. are inscrutable mysteries. Attempts to explain them in specifics dissolve into hopeless babble. The physical end product is a piece of paper slathered with paint and other pigment. As with the gastric digestive process the output hardly bares any resemblance to the inputs that created them. […]

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  2. […] displaying my painting stems from the uneasy relationship I have with the whole act of painting. I have mumbled about this in a long ago post. I also feel that hanging my mediocre splatters is an arrogant act of multi layered […]

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