09 January 2007

Raw Experience

Designed to Affect You Part Three

In 2001, I made a painting called "A Color and a Field."

On first glance, it looks like one canvas painted red above another canvas painted black.

But within a few seconds, most people notice the subtle string of red lip prints going across the top of the black canvas.

When they come in closer to investigate, they usually notice the large black vinyl letters on the bottom side of the red canvas that say,
"She bought lipstick for the funeral from the new Unspeakable Grief line guaranteed not to fade for up to eight hours."
I was thinking about the idea of 'decorated grief.'

The seed of the idea came from the weekend when JFK Jr. died.

The plane he was flying with his wife and sister-in-law disappeared over the ocean but no one knew for sure if they were dead or alive.
During the weekend I occasionally turned on the TV to see if they had been found.

At one point, CNN was playing dramatic music that made me feel like I was watching a film and they had the words 'unspeakable grief' on the screen.

The word 'unspeakable' was written in a fancy flowing script and the word 'grief' was written in block letters.

The sadness was not raw.

The sadness was decorated.

I was aware that people had made conscious artistic decisions.

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