Through Concentrated Breath

making images from memory

SHINCHON CROSSROADS 3

31 January 2017 by Rey Armenteros

Scan 10

You’ve been drawing in black and white for almost ten years. The lead artist of the show is a good friend of yours and is aware of the reasons why you refuse to paint, even as he steers you into color with the argument that your work needs more impact.

Because he is aware of your artistic intentions, he comes up with alternatives to actual painting. You have always respected him, almost like a mentor, but these ideas he is giving you are pretty substandard, such as placing color transparencies over your gray drawings; he is a sculptor, after all, and not a drawer or painter.

The only two choices you see before you are acceding to his less-than stellar ideas or returning to paint. (There is the third choice of not belonging to this group show in which many of your old friends are to be a part of, but that is not really an option.)
What do you do?

My solution was to simply abandon my artistic integrity by giving in and painting once again. Suddenly, I was working with colors, veering away from ink and straight into paint, playing with its substance, contemplating color harmonies.

Ultimately, my return to paint was an unexpected one, most of all to me. Every reason that you had ever come up with as to why the austere black and white was superlative to paint had to be refuted, revealing that such philosophical reasoning may be more about preference than any reality you are trying to define.

So, I dropped all arguments I had ever formulated for black and white, and my mind was, for once, fresh – free of ideologies, receptive, almost as if unformed.

And there was work to be done.

Scan 57a copy

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