Your work arrived in the gallery today. I am very happy with the new paintings. In their quasi-monochrome settings your subjects are painted in fluid lines, outlines of representations that almost evade recognition. They recall classic themes in painting while at the same time evoking a certain timeless quality. I know that you paint from found images; yet only a trace, a mere shadow remains of its reflection. You paint with almost dry brushes, wiping the paint off while coaxing the image until it is still just sufficiently there to recall its own history, an open story of memory.
Having the paintings around me now, I recall a passage I read earlier this summer by Javier Marías from his book Your Face Tomorrow. One moment the main character of the book is reflecting on a drop of blood on the wooden floor of his old friend’s house. He tries to wipe it out. While doing so he wonders why the edge of the stain, “the circle, the circumference” is so hard to get rid of and asks himself why this rim sticks to the floor so much more obstinately than the rest of the drop.
He thinks:“ ‘Perhaps’, I thought, ‘perhaps it’s a way of clinging on to the present, a reluctance to disappear that exists in objects and in the inanimate generally, and not just in people, perhaps it’s an attempt by all things to leave their mark, to make it harder for them to be denied or glossed over or forgotten, it’s their way of saying “I was here” or “I’m still here, therefore I must have been before”, and to prevent others from saying “No, this was never here, never, it neither strode the world nor trhod the earth, it did not exist and never happened”. 1
I am very much looking forward to the installation.
1 (Javier Marías, Your Face Tomorrow, Volume 1, Fever and Spear, page 141, A New Directions Book, New York)