This is a recent piece, smaller at about 16 × 24 I think, that is also at Arcadia Gallery in NY. Funny – when I made it I thought perhaps that it was too “on the nose.” But still, lots of folks were asking what that woman was doing, if she was holding a baby, etc. That REALLY surprised me. Maybe it has to do with how much we rely on context. Maybe I just screwed it up. But she is holding a mixing bowl and mixing. She has an apron on. She is barefoot. I thought I was spelling it out too much!!!
John, I love this piece. You really know how to put the ‘mundane’ in the greater mystery of what is out there in the universe. This is not only a terrific composition with all the mystery of night, but it also gives us as viewers ‘food’ for thought to make up our own stories out of our experiences. For me a metaphor – home wife caught in the headlights like the proverbial deer. Lots of tangles and wild wires to associate – and they all recall my childhood in the midwest. Thanks for the moment.
I was born as an artist. First photo of me is with pencil. My friends are all artists. But, unfortunately, I could not be a painter such as you have made the practice and vocation in an honorable and qualified way. I wanted to say that because I’ve ALWAYS needed the paintings spelled out to me. I am very philosophical, yet, I am entirely deficient in understanding poetry and art. After it is explained to me…it’s “oh, of course!” now, it is obvious. I too, thought she was holding a baby. ( I am horridly nearsighted.) And that brings out a “story” of fear, maternal instincts, and domestic intimidation or abuse (as she left the house with no shoes in her apron in the dark). Now, that you say it is a mixing bowl, I have a different story (which still may not be YOUR story) but it is the only one I could thing of…. she is lost in he domesticity. She accepted a role and got lost and so she is wandering in the dark. Suddenly lost at her role in life. I woke up yesterday and had the same feeling (which is the reason why I am identifying it to this painting). My dog died. My husband left a few years ago, my son went off as they do, and the dog was the only thing to “domestically” tie me to my identity with my home. I woke up yesterday and did not know how 30 years went by and I ended up in this strange city, in a strange home with no family there. I AM that lady with the mixing bowl standing lost over broiled spareribs last night, barefoot, apron, wondering about the loss, and value of an identity which is being forcibly changed. I am waiting to see “life” again (like a car coming with the headlights) wondering if I am looking for an escape from that lonesome place. is this like some kind of Stephen King novel? And, actually, truthfully, I’ve really never cared what the story is…its too damn hard. I am so fully engage with your “painting” (maybe too many freaking years of art training) that that is my complete focus anyway! LOL great painting. …..now – tell me what it means. ;-)