the flamingo: painting the town pink

Painting isn’t really what gets painted. It’s more of a dance I like to do.

Connor, the painting:
“Paintings have secrets, they are, you know, there is an objective reality that’s just outside the frame of most paintings…
Whoever seen Cezanne, the apples. If you were to see just outside the frame that there’s tremendous amount of bread like an unreasonable amount of bread, to the point where if you could see the bigger picture, there’s so much bread that you’d actually think, why would anyone… is this a bakery?
 And in a way it’s… it raises too many questions, to the point where I think the beauty of that painting is here, there are just some apples and pears. And you could just consider them as they are, whereas I think if you see… if you saw how much bread there was, I think it will be upsetting to people, I think people would just be almost tormented by the idea that anyone would make that much bread… And so, I think that’s why that painting is what it needs to be because if you were to see what was actually there in that room, you’d be horrified “.

(Chillag, 2019)

It is helpful to imagine everything I would be moved to make as a painting. Not simply to apply aesthetic considerations to all things but to endow a tenderness through forethought (a pensive texture). Painting is as much a cut glass project, as a ballpoint pen drawing, my ceramic mugs are paintings, and my bike rides to. I am a painter because what is painting but recording a physical movement. Sure, in the end that movement represents an image (of cycling, or confronting “low-white”) but it’s only a recording of this very embodied practice. (Hedlund, 19)

An intentional narrowing of a bigger picture because if you were to see what was actually in that room…

Making something beautiful isn’t really the goal of art anymore. Conceptual art cast aside the pursuit of beauty in favour of a deep (and sometimes convoluted) grand idea. “It is now beginning to look as if we should be taking the dematerialisation of the art object very seriously indeed. All we need, it seems, is to know the idea, and an idea is by no means an object – a spatio-temporal physical object.” (Goldie, 75). This makes a painterly view applied to all pursuits a rebellious act. More so it is to crop a picture, put a best foot forward, record that foot in movement in the art nouveau sensibilities to offer “opulence for all” (Billauer, 2018). 

Connor, the painting, says that just outside the frame there is an objective reality. This is true. That objective reality is sometimes hard to digest and all encompassing. To crop for the purpose of beauty is a practiced skill.

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