After a dreary period of seemingly endless rejection letters from galleries and exhibitors, it is validating to have had the last few submissions accepted. Yesterday I received word that the Brand Library , for their annual Works on Paper exhibition (this is their 43rd year ) had accepted my Temptation of Saint Anthony in the Desert. It was particularly thrilling to read:
“Juror Kent Twitchell reviewed 890 submitted works, of which 70 were selected for the exhibition”.
Kent Twitchell is an icon here (and elsewhere) known for his photo-realistic monumental murals; I admire him a great deal, hence the validation. Funny things is he paints such spectacularly colossal, hyper realistic works and chose my teeny bit of fantasy. Catholic tastes I guess .
I have the happy task of framing this little painting, a pleasant break from the mad dash of setting up a new home, packing up an old, securing a new studio (about to sign the lease), and perhaps buying a car(YIKES), THEN fly out to Philadelphia for the six week critique course. I’m spinning about in space.
I think for the program at PAFA I am going to translate this drawing The Goblin Market into a much larger painting, size to be determined- essentially as big as I can ship back.
The Goblin Market
When I arrive in Philadelphia, after a red eye flight, I am pretty much just jumping the deep end at PAFA on Monday the 6th. I will post regularly from my phone.
I won’t see David until quite late, after St.Valentine’s Day, so I thought I would post this online so he would receive it on the train ride down from LA.
Happy Valentines Day bubala.
This drawing is part of my ongoing infatuation with Achilles and Patroclus, something I share with David.
My inspiration for this sketch is a wall fragment from Pompeii, that of Mars and Venus. As a young boy I felt it to be the sexiest image imaginable; now at midlife I have refashioned the image in a bit of homo-revisionism. I still find the hand gesture of Venus(Patroclus) to be deeply touching and tender.
Just one final image, a very contemporary Achilles and Patroclus, again very tender and sweet.
Wishing all, but most especially David, a very happy St.Valentine’s Day.
I recently finished Madeline Miller’s very excellent The Song of Achilles, Clive Hicks-Jenkins had suggested I read it, so I was quick to order a copy for myself. I had heard of the novel, I had read a scathing review of it in the New York Times and foolishly I held back from reading it. The reviewer, Daniel Mendelsohn , was ruthless (from my persective) in his criticism of the novel. Most of his harsh judgment seemed aimed at the unabashedly romantic depiction of Achilles and Patroclus, comparing it to Dawson’s Creek – about as a cruel a comparison I can think of.
Mendelsohn takes Miller to task for stating the obvious (to him at least) – the romantic nature of their relationship .
The truth is their relationship while implied, is not a given fact to the population at large as Mendelsohn asserts. There is a sacredness to their narrative, a romance held dear by a great many gay folks through time, that was secret and coded. It is no small matter that Alexander and Hephaestion made a pilgrimage to their tomb. If Miller’s prose was too purple for Mendelsohn then frankly that is too bad; I for one relished the evocative images she created. It is high time for some frank, direct depictions of gay love, culturally we have settled for the implied. Miller gave us a sweeping romance, I thank Miller for that, florid or not. In response I created an equally purple image of the two re-united for eternity in the Underworld.