I’ve been reading about some of the great abstract painters. Willem de Kooning is known for works such as Woman I and Excavation, which I have not seen in person. I am keen to learn more about him since my interest was stimulated by reading Eric Kandel’s book Reductionism in Art and Brain Science: Bridging the Two Cultures.
I mention de Kooning because one of my take-aways from his essays was that the artist’s space can be populated by whatever the artist wants to put in it. I could be wrong about this, so I am desperately trying to find the actual quote.
My space today began with an earth tone base. I then scrawled some of the icons I developed in past paintings. These icons are short-hand, visual notes about my older brother, Michael, who is autistic, low functioning and nonverbal. I have drifted away from depicting my brother in my artwork, so here are links to some of my previous posts: Emotional – a key photo, which influenced a lot of my thinking about Mike; Gestures as Icons; Gesture Study; Stylized Portraits; Klee and Jawlensky-Influenced Portrait – I particularly like this one; Double Portrait and Brain; and finally Evolution of a Portrait Series.
I did not place the symbols below, in perfect anatomic order. I had to break up the their continuity. I’m not sure why I did this except, perhaps, to look at the features themselves and not a sensible collection of them….
I have ideas for further use of my icons, including the gestural ones.