April 12, 2018

Water Under the Bridge

Mixed media on birch panel, 40" x 12"
I've been reading Paul Beatty's The Sellout, a novel set in L.A. which tackles every hypocrisy and sacred cow of American life you care to think about, in ways that make you laugh and cringe and sometimes second-guess whether either response is appropriate, kind of like a Quentin Tarantino film. Not many novels in this day and age of smooth, frictionless aesthetics make you squirm as much.

At base, the book gets at a society that is, ultimately, empty or rotten or meaningless at its core, in the heart and mind. How else do you explain the politics, the crass compensatory consumption, the knee-jerk flag waving, largely passed over as normal despite how the media and its quest for sensations that sell makes it look otherwise, especially outside the U.S.

Joan Didion talked about how everyone who lives in L.A. has to come to terms with the meaningless of life there, even to embrace it, and I feel her.

I think I'm homesick, pining, letting my head play those games. They are games for as much as we would like to think differently, no grass is really greener, only different, but the emotions are real, like talking to a pet and believing it understand your human words.

This painting is the fruit, one particular version of home few would think you'd miss anyway. But I do.

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