My first hanging

I had secretly hoped the day would never come but it did. Consoled my self that there’s a first time for everything and that I’ll get over to it. The hanging is the result of repeated appeals by Mrs C and other family members. It led me to pay good money to have two of my paintings professionally framed.

In ancient times (eons exiled to cold places) the closest I got to hanging my own applications of pigment on paper was a quick “Selo tape” job on an apartment wall. This time there was a consultation on the proportions of the frame, types of coloured archival framing material. The type of glass etc. It was not cheap and took a while.

My discomfort about 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 exhibitionism.

At the most obvious is an egoist declaration – Behold! I am an Artiste. Praise me with your awe. Hanging one’s stuff on the wall of your own home inevitably forces people to be complementary for the sake of politeness. With it comes the misery of having to “explain” the inexplicable of what the paintings “mean” when I was clueless as anyone else. Thankfully listing “my influences” of tortured Artistes (Van Gogh) has killed the need to cool up arty stories on the fly.

I’m not looking for validation or hand patting about “how talented” I am. I just want to get the pictures out ouf my head. That desire brings up an unsettling question emphasised by the two paintings now occupying my personal space : Why do I feel so compelled to create them ?

Like defecating it forces itself out of me. I can “feel” what they should look like even while waiting for the lights to change (yes I do stop at “colour lights” even when they are red). Granted, the end result is nothing like the flickers in the mind. Only a nameless instinct allows me to stop rubbing more paint on a particular “work”.

The best is to hope for a busy life that gives no time for such things. Faeces, I can rationalise as a consequence of biological processes. Yet the imagery I spew is utterly mysterious to me. The human itch to look for patterns where none exists gives the illusion that I’m looking at some deeper truth just behind a thin veil of iconography. Naturally an very silly new age idea.

Despite all this I took nails. hammer and the expensive frames to the wall. After much pounding, denting furniture (accidentally) and directions from Mrs C, the deed was done. Dinner guests have already made their polite comments. I have grown to accept the fact that wincing inwardly is not worth the misery. It doesn’t matter what is said about them. The images are out of my head. I can feel more on the inner horizon. After all, the lights at both ends of the tunnel are inevitably head lights of on coming trains.

At least there’s some colour on walls (one must be positive in the face of madness and existential mystery). I might even learn to like my own stuff ( call it a type of Stockholm syndrome) Even the great Bukowski once wrote about the satisfaction of standing back and enjoying your own output; its shapes, colours and textures – before flushing.


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