Something interesting today. I come to the studio feeling exhilarated. I tack up a piece of unstretched canvas on the wall and start to work with the nonsensical (to me, anyway) phrase in mind, “drawing without seeing”. I paint a woman holding a dog. She has an archaic smile; she is strange and normal all at once.
I can’t read or interpret this painting—can’t tell if it’s a fetish, a catharsis, or if it’s a prophecy.
I take the color palette from a Max Beckmann painting of a woman playing the guitar (“Vaudeville Act” at the Met). I research and learn that Beckmann did not like interpreting his art, at least vocally. He was remembered saying something feisty in reaction to a collector, who was asking for an interpretation of one of the artist’s triptychs he was collecting. His hostile remark went something like, “[the collector] can send back my painting if he wants an interpretation!” I can’t imagine being in a position to say such a thing.