Vermeer Makes Us All Look Good

I’m glad to report that artists are interesting people too. I was recently visited in my studio by yet another photographer named Maite Backman. In May she will exhibit a series of portraits of artists at work during the open studio biannual event in Valencia called RussafArt. Here are a couple of portraits she shot of me at work:


Two fleece pullovers are still not enough to ward off the cold in my studio in the winter. I actually took off a down vest before she started shooting so as not to look too ridiculous:


And speaking of people interested in artists-what to make of Tim Jenison‘s “discovery” that Johannes Vermeer may have used some kind of optical technology to paint his masterworks? I’m still mulling over that answer since I haven’t yet seen his documentary, “Tim’s Vermeer”. Critics have noted that the art world’s collective brain may be exploding at this revelation but I actually think this is a good thing. In no way is Vermeer’s work diminished by the fact that he may have had help. Instead, I believe that painters who work with no aids of any kind have actually been elevated. I somehow personally feel emboldened by this discovery because I make all my paintings with one paintbrush. In a previous post, I talked about visitors to my studio scanning the space in search of the “tool” used to make my shapes. This again happened when a recent visitor watched me work and said, “Oh, you do all that work line by line? I thought there was some trick where you applied the paint all at once and finished a painting in one day.” Really? Maybe now contemporary artists will be appreciated more rather than devaluing what Vermeer did as less.

Of course, being valued as an artist is what I work towards every day. And there is no question that being included in the Whitney Biennial would be the ultimate validation. So of course I was reading the latest article in the NY Times about one of the curators invited to select artists for the Biennial. But what struck me as super funny was a correction at the bottom of the page:

An earlier version of this article misstated the format for recordings made by Malachi Ritscher that will be part of an installation by Marc Fischer at the Whitney Biennial. The recordings will be presented digitally — there will not be “piles of tapes.”

Unlike misspelling a name in an article, I’m not sure how a writer could confuse a digital format with the decades older technology of tapes. It gave me a nerdy chuckle…

Work in my studio continues as I finish the last large pieces here in Spain:


And finally, my former school mate from Los Angeles (who is now based in Dallas, TX), Emily Wise Miller, is a very talented writer and has two great articles on art in this month’s issue of Patron Magazine.  Patron covers the arts for the Dallas/Fort Worth area where my gallery is located. Look for Emily in the future as the next guest in my Writer’s Series.

This month’s music: Tennis

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