My in-laws have always been a rather impulsive lot. While sitting in their living room (picture white couches, white rug) my future wife got into an argument with her brother. Our dinner grew increasingly hard to swallow as the fight escalated. Finally my brother-in-law-to-be picked up his plate of spaghetti and meatballs and smashed it on the floor before stomping out of the house. My stunned silence evolved into wonder as I viewed the graphic violence of shattered china and strands of slimy red noodles draped across every square inch of the furniture ensemble. I had only one thought in mind… Painting!!!
The splattered living room proved too unbelievable a setting for the piece, however, so I put the broken plate on a table, its perspective alignment shifted off-kilter with the rest of the house. I smashed a plate of spaghetti next to my canvas and painted the “still-life” as quickly as I could. The noodles still shriveled and dried before I was finished.
Fabulous painting in every way. As for your writings, I enjoy them. It doesn’t ruin anything for me either way…rather, I see it as a breath of fresh air to actually listen to an articulate artist….almost an oxymoron these days. I still see what my eyes see and fall into the painting. There is more than enough to take in even with your explanations. The beauty of images are just so incredibly stark and lovely….God given talent…..I don’t care where you studied….well, it’s nice to have the education but somehow I feel you probably showed your teachers a thing or two Scott. Thank you for the feast for my eyes again.
I am constantly drawn to the little salad bowl on the chair. I’m wondering if it will get sat on or knocked over and start more arguing. It’s like a room full of time bombs.
I imagine the bowl was set there to balance out all the other circular objects on the other side of the canvas. Of course, it does take on a precarious position. I remember a curator coming in when I was working on the piece, “I hate those kind of salads!” Meaning the chopped up bit of everything salad that is depicted. It was just the kind of salad my mother always made, so it seemed very natural to me. Now I’m much more particular.
Time bombs, yes. We are all time bombs!
It’s unusual to see expressive realism that needs the artist statement to figure out what is going on. If I’m viewing each element here as a clue to a mystery, I’m not getting it. It is definitely interesting to look at, but the story is not connecting, at least for me. It becomes a mish mosh of interesting elements being held together by chaos, & detachment. Did you sell this one ?
You are free to accept the story or not. My purpose here is to tell how the painting came about. That doesn’t mean you must take it so literally. In creating these paintings they morph quite dramatically from the source material. I would hope the viewer has the strength of will to allow for a free interpretation.
Of course it sold. The owner is still intrigued by it twenty-some years later…
Great. Definitely one of your best. What I was trying to say was pretty much what you said. The strength of your work is in the ambiguity . Telling the " story " cheats us of the chance to interpret independently. The tension is so well presented & becomes more of a feeling the viewer inherits. I really enjoy your 80’s stuff for it’s raw energy, not only in subject matter but in the doing as well. It takes tremendous drive & focus to produce so many excellent works of this nature & size. You rock
Wow, Scott, every character in this drama has a story – this is food for thought (no pun intended) as you always introduce secondary stories in your paintins. LOVE the palette!
I’ts very claustraphobic, so many adults in this tiny space. You can sense the anger bursting out and the fear and silence of the others who have quickly retired to separate spaces. I admire your non-use of photography and I have always been sure and have often said that somewhere there is a better, new direction for still-life. It works well in this painting but of course it is attatched to the narrative. Just imagine a still life of the same subject in isolation. I can’t imagine it hasn’t already been done. It would certainly make a change from the usual wine bottles and glasses.
In my Hotel Vide series (It is here on Open Museum) I did a murder mystery in 10 still-life paintings. It was an interesting discovery to find I could follow a narrative with just objects.
I agree. Enough with the wine bottles, glasses, pears, apples, etc.