Constrictor

Don’t know where this drawing came from. I mean I thought it up and all, but I can’t remember what I was thinking about when the first idea, the woman in the sleeve, popped into my head. She in the sleeve of the suit, the woman as art being swallowing up by the corporate/consumer society like a mouse being eaten by a snake.

Then the suit became one of several in a suit refinery, a bureaucracy of pipes valves and meters. You know; fossil fuels, global warming, the foundation and yet the ruin of the consumer economy.

But the woman could be part of that corporate/consumer culture. She could be but an arm of it taking something from the artist. She could be both image and sign of what’s been taken by culture, the lost forever (m)other, so says Lacan, I think.

“Constrictor” or “constrict her”? all in the language, eh, Jacques? I’m not sure. Art might be more of its culture than of its artist. Sometimes, I think the artist is consumed as much as his art. A consumer culture consumes itself. Artist, art and society are all connected this way.

So what’s with the pool? The only thing I can think of is the reverse of the “fish out of water” thing. Our artist is out of his element here. The arches, an aqueduct under water, are they a mere compositional device or do they have deeper meaning? If all this came at night, a dream, it’d make sense, but no, these images hit me up when I was drawing the sleeve thing. draw us, they begged. So I did. but I didn’t have time (or the need) to write them first.

Not done yet. What about the easel floating in the pool and the little black dress hung on it? Where did this come from? No painting, no model. The loss, the lack, an image and a sign of the forever absent, forever desired? “Civilization rests on the impossibility of our desires.” –Freud, maybe.

The thing still troubled me. the bottom right corner needed something compositionally, so I put a landscape there with a skyline (culture?) and a sunset (nature?) Then I dumped the skyline, flipped the sky, now it’s an impending storm.

Needed something content-wise too. I drew a chair, a place for the missing artist to sit and paint. Now the empty chair balances the empty easel/empty dress, connected at a distance, by similarity, not continuity.

Surreal? Dali’s paranoiac-critical method? Creating objects that have a minimum of mechanical meaning, but when viewed — deconstructed and analyzed — evoke phantom images, recall unconscious acts?

Finally the canvas in the bottom left; originally the hands were simple cropped by the frame implying an actual artist drawing, only one degree removed from me. Too close, I fear being blamed, not praised, for this crazy thing. Made it a picture in a picture of an artist drawing himself, adding two more degrees of safety.

I’ve heard it said, “shrinks are for people who can’t afford friends.” Then what’s for people who can’t afford shrinks? ‘Blogs’ would be the answer.

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