Why is he drawing these things?
Let me tell you about these drawings. I can’t tell you how they came to be, why I took the time and energy to make them, but I can tell what’s in them.
What’s in them now that they are posted is not what was in them before they were drawn, when they were word-sketches in my note book a month or so ago. The frame with the weird arm was there, the drawing on the floor was there, as was the drawing on the table with the wine glass. There were no pens, chairs or curtained windows.
I penciled the drawings of attractive women that would become the drawings-in-the-drawings and scanned them in. In Photoshop I made them look like drawings I did 20-30 years ago where I copied photographs in a caricature-like way. Then, as now, there are no actual women in my life.
But the rooms, the sets on a stage, for these drawings were entirely drawn in the computer with Photoshop and a wacom. The chair appeared in ‘Frame’ so I felt I had to put it in the others. And as it’s always been with the wine glass I needed to add a pen to ‘Table’.
Consistency and contiguity raised their ugly heads as the often do when I’m making sets of drawings so I had to find a way to make the things on one hand more similar and on the other have a similar different-ness between each pair. If that makes any sense.
So the pen is in all three but is treated differently in each. It’s a Mont Blanc 149, a good but overpriced pen; mine is long gone—traded for a Goya print. The pen in ‘Table” is just a normal-sized pen. In ‘Corner’ it’s actually the same size as in ‘Table’ but because scale of the drawing it looks a lot bigger. In ‘Frame’ it is normal sized, but is it ‘real’ or part of the drawing-in-the-drawing?
The chair is in all three too. The artist sits in it in one; he doesn’t in another and in the third, part of it is missing a la Magritte. I never had a chair like that, but I did have the table. My daughter has it now, she painted it shiny black.
My metaphor for those times of drinking and drawing was the pen dipped in the glass as if the wine were ink. In ‘Table’ the wine/ink part of the glass is missing which means, I guess, that those days are gone.
The artist painting himself into a corner is a drawing I made a long time ago; about the same time I was drawing those attractive women. I recreate that here with inflated pen/ego and conflate it with chair facing the corner as in a child’s punishment. The artist/child is missing as well as a part of the chair. And the shadow is backwards so both it and the chair form the letter ‘h’. Was that what the child did wrong?
The drawing is framed; removed from the creator and given to the consumer, yet the creator still embraces it. The missed placed arm calls attention to this weirdness. As does the pen being both in his hand and in the art.
The lighting, more consistent differences. Night and day, from outside and in, from above and from below like an interrogation. Why is he drawing these things, what do they mean? Like I said before I can tell you the what but not the why of these things.