Sunday, August 12, 2007

Frank & me

A month or so ago I was painting in the manner of Gerhard Richter. Now I find myself laboriously drawing a Frank Stella as the basis for a painting. I’m surprised at this recent tendency of mine, because I’ve always loathed art about art, thinking it was way too art world-y self-referential in the most pretentious way (as if being art world-y self-referential could be anything but pretentious). Besides, if you’re an artist and your work is better than the artist you’re referencing you’re dragging yourself down, and if that artist’s work is better than yours (think David Salle aping Chardin) the result will be an unfavorable comparison. Also I’m always ranting about wanting to see original—as in “not borrowed”—imagery in art. Nevertheless, I’m having fun—I think of it as collaborating with Frank—although I’m sure it’s taking me much longer to do this drawing than it did for Stella to make the sculpture. And I suppose if Stella can base a part of his oeuvre on a dog toy (see Does Frank Stella have a dog? May), I can base a painting on a Stella that’s based on a dog toy. We’re getting very derivative here.

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