Picasso's stylistic sequences resemble his serial relationships, indicating that there is something different but repeated about each stylistic segment. (This circularity interests me.) Style is summed up as a material expression of sensibility. Sensibility is defined as a shifting synthesis of allowables and disallowables nested within a greater structure of allowables and disallowables. In other words, a shifting framework of possibilities within another shifting framework of possibilities. Artists historically unite theory and practice, and operate out of a sensibility rather than by mechanically applying theory to practice. In my project, I find that I have to create very much ( quantitatively ) in the way of artwork to keep the various styles robust, that I have to tolerate a degree of toxic misgiving as I view one style from the standpoint of another, and that I must tolerate categorical dismissal from an artworld that is keyed to "signature style" for purposes of academic, critical and commercial niching. Still, in this project, each of these stresses is also positive: a high level of production is facilitated by the multple personality approach as "a change is as good as a rest." And because a creative block in one "personality" does not affect the others, day-to-day confrontation with misgivings leads to deeper self-examination and psychological endurance ( I look to Philip K. Dick, Salvador Dali, and Edvard Munch for help in navigating the psychological hazards, as well as Kaye Redfield and John Nelson, and stay in close communication with a psychiatrist), and I can manipulate critics, rather than be manipulated by them, and also become a critic myself, as well as one who has to struggle harder for acceptance in any niche, thus gaining further endurance.
La Vista Totale
Still, there is the project of establishing a comprehensive view, and I have forced this by seeing a single slowly developing narrative through the assorted styles in a long term series, originating in 1980, titled La Vista Totale: a partial view. This series emphasizes, as vehicles of comprehension, David Bohm's "holomovement," Maturana's ideas about "structural coupling" and "structural drift" and Maturana and Varela's "autopoesis," as well as organizational principles from cybernetics, and makes room for eccentric models from Philip Dick and Terence McKenna, while drawing inspiration about defining the mission of the artist from Blake, Munch and Dali.
My fundamental text, from which all LVT work emerges is a set of unpublished books, of which I am the author, comprising a fictional narrative that includes speculation in the above mentioned areas. These books, titled Out of Jeweled Chaos, Kali Rules, Age of Infirmation, Nearer the Trivial Core and Delphi in Snow, are at present a work-in-progress, remaining roughly half-written and comprising about 1300 pages of text. My paintings draw from these books in general, and contribute to them. The continuing image of La Vista Totale: a partial view, is manifest as depictions of a contract of some kind enacted between two figures, both female in most paintings. While elements of imagery: a Chinese hat, Indian pipe fungus, lilies, an orb, snakes and particular postures of supplication and giving characterize these paintings, the styles in which they are painted shift dramatically through time, as from identity to identity, while the narrative of the contract moves very slowly. Stylistic shifts oscillate between regressive and progressive historical styles so that, seen as a totality, some characteristics of wave patterns may be revealed.
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© Frank Galuszka 2008