Sunday, April 22, 2012

Brett Whiteley in the abstract

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Harry Kent, Brett Whiteley inspired, oil on canvas, 46x60cm


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"A painting is a record of the extremely intensified moments of life - where more than one space, two senses of time, more than the law even seems to work, where the emotional forces seem to be propelling one to a dangerous limit, where reason and explanations become too enfeebled or too speeded up to matter."             Brett Whiteley

 
Why does Harry keep banging on about Brett Whiteley? Isn't it time he switched to some other theme?

Well, one reason i haven't is that i still find plenty of motivation to pick up a brush when i mull over 'Brettness'.

But another is that many of my drawings and paintings, though entitled with 'Brett Whiteley' in the title, could be about anybody. The physical likeness is pretty loose at the best of times.
In these most recent paintings likeness has been abandoned altogether. These are abstract figurative works - experimental, Expressionist, free-style, gestural. They nevertheless purport to be portraits but quite possibly are not. This very problem was raised for discussion during my Fukushima series here in May of last year.

I title them Brett Whiteleys because i had him and his life and art in mind as i worked. But viewers (if i still have any) should feel free to retitle them as they please. What's in a name?


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8 comments:

  1. Oh, Harry, you still have many viewers who are willing to travel along your journey! In fact, I was painting your "portrait" in my recent workshop last week. You'll have to pop over Monday and see the 2 I'm showing - done with lots of color and line and collage and... :)

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    1. Thanks for youre continued interest and support Rhonda. Much appreciated.

      And wow, thanks for the innovative portraits of me on your blog. Experimenting, searching, communicating through image-making - that's what painting is really all about. Honoured that you chose me as a point of departure. Great stuff.

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  2. Harry, I really like the idea of a named series of portraits that could be anyone, in spite of the name. What's in a name? But also, what's in a face? Some of the most seemingly accurate captures of someone's features will provoke them to say "but that's not me!" and some of the most abstract, as this one above, convey such focused truth about what lies beneath a face, a name. Bravo! And thank you for sticking with this series - it is not about repetition, but discovery.

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    1. What a wonderful way of putting it - 'not about repetition, about discovery'. And to ask, 'what's in a face'. So true.

      You are such a writer of insights and the well turned phrase, Gabriella. Thanks for the big dose of encouragement. Hugs.

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  3. What a great painting Harry, this is how i would like to paint. ;-) I would love to let go while painting.

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    1. Funny thing, i have guilt feelings about this painting. I sort i feel i haven't done enough. I feel the paining is somehow a fraud. The further i move from realism, the stronger these feelings grow. And consequently, the more doubts i have about my work.

      But i persist.

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