Friday, April 10, 2009

Thinking Up Omar Khayyam

I've been working on the composition for the Omar Khayyam painting over the past few days. There's nothing deeper than nonsense, chaos goes on and on, which is why surrealism, which contains real depth, can seem nonsensical. But there is always a meaning in there and the same is true of the Omar Khayyam rubaiyat, even if the translators tended to re-interpret the meanings time and again. My struggle with this picture came from the breadth of possible interpretations of the rubaiyat I had chosen. Time again again I came up with ideas only to find a better one and then another and then finding the first one again in circles.

Right at the beginning though I did two useful things; first when I read the lines an image jumped into my head even without knowing why, and so that became part of it, and I also tried to distill those four lines into one word and one feeling. I couldn't quite make it one word, but two, and focusing on those helped develop the picture without losing it in dreamy wistfulness, fantasy, desires to paint "amazing looking" things, shows of flair and skill, that did not have that meaning though, and were cold; empty like many "neosurrealism" images which at first seem incredible and beautiful but are meaninglessness, cold, pointless and tiring to the emotions.

Art is communication; and like a speech or treatise, or when talking to a friend, it is important for it to be "true".

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