"What's going on?" I asked.
"Tis Saint Patties Day Steve. . . didin ya know?" Matthew replied.
I kept my drawings under my arm for a pilsner and then we ambled over to Martino's where we scored a big booth. Matthew ordered a round of Stellas and spread all the drawings out on the table. Then he shuffled and stacked them in ways that made sense to him.
"I don't fancy these," Matthew said as he handed me five drawings. "But these," he continued, "you must show to Richard Heller in Los Angeles. . . very nice gallery that one, he'd show these in a second. I reckon you should fly down there this weekend. There's a special you see, $210 round trip."
Two pints later and the small town regulars were slapping shoulders and the coked-out chicks (with their clothes which seemed to hover around their skeletal bodies like leafy asteroids) ask non-stop questions and never listen to the answers. I keep my drawings tight on my lap. We decide that it is time to move on.
A block over, Tabu turns out to be my favorite spot of the night. I don't feel like I'm in America when I'm there. We are the minority language, race, and interest in salsa dancing. I love watching good dancers. Coronas were two bucks! The witching hour snuck-up on me right when Eric, who owns Rogue Design Group, showed up with Marga. I had never met Marga but she spent an unnatural amount of time looking at my drawings. One by one, she leafed through the stack. . . twice! She gave each drawing a visceral emotive label. It was all very indulgent and flattering. . . did I mention the Coronas were only two bucks?
A couple of days later, Marga e-mails me after visiting this blog (I had given her my card) and she asks me an important question: "Why are you doing this latest collection in small format? Why not about five times that size?" Now, in this go-go world, I can't wait for Three's anymore, triangulation is too obvious, I find meaning when pairs of things happen. In my next e-mail was this from Dennis, "I can relate to your inky ways lately... one question: have you any thoughts about scaling up?"
So thus begins my answer (take a potty break if you must).
First, I'm going to have to repeat myself and lay some ground work. Also, I must answer Matthew Landkammer's question from the previous post "Can you define what you mean by "pure" abstraction?" and even before that I have to comment on Marga's cheeky " darkness is way over-rated".
Lightness and Darkness are woven together in an inseparable relationship and I did not mean that I Love Light at the expense of Dark. Rather, I love what Light does. I love how it creates space. Remember my Picton Points post from last year? I'll repost a portion:
Now move the point through space, or through time, or shine a light on it to create a shadow.
Harsh, soft, reflected, absorbed, transparent light?
Soft lights, sweet music, sweeter unheard music?
Frozen-music architecture? Gothic-Greek light?
Twilight-light, twilight-time, twilight space?
Broken, baroque, dissolved light?
Iridescence, evanescence, transcendence light?
Luminous-numinous? Rome-versus-East light?
Darkness, grayness, dullness light?
I was in just this sort of mindset when I saw my first piece of Art. What I saw was a huge red painting, alone in a cloistered antechamber of some museum. "Big deal," I first thought, and yet, I had to admit that the red was fairly intense. I began stepping towards the painting, marveling at its immaculate surface. Was this some insanely primed canvas? Step closer. It was far to big to be some sort of seamless lumber sheet. Step closer. Where were the protective guard ropes? Step. It was beautiful. Pure Red. Step. Hypnotized and yet brazen, I reached up to touch the painting.
So that is "pure abstraction" for me. A blank. The moment that a mark is made however, the game changes.
In order to scale up, with my next paycheck, I'm going to order some Rosco Supersat black. It is a dye like color formulated to be diluted with substantial quantities of water while retaining binder strength. It works on most scenic surfaces including muslin, plastic and metal. I dries to a completely matte, non-reflective finish.