Sunday, October 30, 2011

Count Down to "Story Within" - 5 days to go!

My show with Forrest Solis is fast approaching so I'm counting down the days by doing a post each day, featuring different work from the show till the opening.
Both sides of the tri-fold brochure invitation for the show.
Story Within is a reference to the popular literary device of a story within a story. It can be found across cultures and media in many works of fiction; a few examples are the Arabian Nights, ancient Indian literature, Homer’s Odyssey, Shakespeare's Midsummer Night’s Dream and Hamlet, Michael Jackson’s Thriller, the films Moulin Rouge and Inception.

This idea appeals to me because it allows for layers of meaning and use of symbolic imagery.  In this body of work I'm playing with objects such as masks, rocks, golden apples, light and shadow.

Ripe Was the Drowsy Hour, 18x24, oil on panel
Yes, they are narrative paintings but there is room for the viewer to bring their own ideas and emotions to the painting. Several pieces in the show have multiple figures, automatically giving the viewer choices, who in the scene do you identify with? What is going on between the figures in the painting?

The story within a story idea fits this show because Forrest and I both use these types of narratives in our work.
Forrest Solis, Good Sleeping Habits, 36x36, mixed media
Ripe Was the Drowsy Hour is a continuation of my Gypsy pieces. There is a clearing on a walk near my house and I envision a band of nomadic, carefree travelers stopping there. This work touches on the sensual romantic idea and mythological idea of the Roma.

I borrowed the title from a John Keats poem Ode on Indolence, here's one verse:
How is it, Shadows! that I knew ye not?
How came ye muffled in so hush a masque?
Was it a silent deep-disguised plot
To steal away, and leave without a task
My idle days? Ripe was the drowsy hour;
The blissful cloud of summer-indolence
Benumb'd my eyes; my pulse grew less and less;
Pain had no sting, and pleasure's wreath no flower:
O, why did ye not melt, and leave my sense
Unhaunted quite of all but---nothingness?

Interesting that I found this poem after these paintings were done while I was looking for a title.  He wrote about the same mystery and languor I've been painting about in this work.

And a few details of the painting...

Here's a video of all 6 of the pieces in the show with commentary.
See you tomorrow!

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