Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What is a Portrait?


I watched in wonder the Alice Neel Monograph on Netflix of this singular portraiture artist who died in 1984. She helps me focus on the personhood in art a bit differently, as i have so relentlessly pursued the place, the "where" in artwork. I am entranced by her canvases, her way of making a being be artwork itself through a strange synthesis of time, paint, and person. [Hit the title for a link to much more work]
Neel is a maestra of seeing the self, an American Egon Schiele, an artist capturing the Freudian century from a New York City perspective.
Now, through Alice, my eyes look for the blood inside, the way a piece develops over time, the morbid aliveness of the one sitting before the artist who sits there over the hours before an easel. My eyes are open again, separately witnessing color, position, the flinching of flesh through an unblinking eye.

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