30+ years of paintings, talked about one painting at a time: what went into the paintings, what I was trying to say, what was happening at the time of my life that I made the paintings. The paintings themselves are narrative, and this adds a little more to the story that they tell.
Monday, November 19, 2012
Black Snake 1999
I hadn't seen "Black Snake" in quite some time, and had forgotten just how much I liked it. I was visiting a friend who happens to have a large collection of my work, this being one of them. We walked around to the different rooms with my paintings in them, and when we came to this one, I stood in front of it for quite some time. My friend began to talk about the painting, and what it meant to her. She talked about the snake and how it could mean so many things: betrayal, heartbreak, money problems, rivalry, revenge. She felt that each girl was reacting differently to the implied threat of what the snake meant. I listened, fascinated. When I made the painting I had photographed my daughter, Ramey, when she was four with her younger friend, Emily. They had been making faces, using their hands to twist their features into bizarre shapes. Once I started combining the paint with the photographs of the girls, I realized that they needed something to look at, so I added the little black snake. I thought what my friend brought to the image was more interesting than what I had thought about when I made the painting, and I liked that it spoke in a stronger, clearer voice living at her house than it had in mine.