May 22, 2006


I just finished off a mini-biography of Albert Camus. It was a soft 100 or so pages about a range of issues surrounding Camus's life, oft times injecting coincidences and insights about his life, art, and work. The above painting is my first and I had used Albert Camus's thoughtful pose before I had really read any of his work or read anything about him. It was merely the look of his internal action of thought that bemused me. It's a common theme in my paintings – of which I'll post later once I finish the two I have been procrastinating on.


Essentially main concept I want to protray is thought. Firstly, I must delve into what the nature of thought is. Thought is not an emotion, it is an action. But it is an internalized action, a behavior without movement. What is strange is that we cannot express clearly to another person that we are thinking. Paul Eckman did a study of three-thousand or so facial expressions and muscle permutations and after a 30 year study basically concluded that the expression one gives while thinking is typically confused with sadness or anger. This might seem typical considering that personal thought typically is concerned with settling an inner turmoil or trying to find meaning and purpose, through understanding, in life. Those two actions seem to be synonymous anger and sadness. Thus it seems difficult to properly express thought through portraitures. However, abstract or abstracted art seem to be the most adequate playgrounds in visually communicating a non-visual internal action – that of thought.


The above painting has several personal meanings to me. For whatever reason, my future investigations have somehow always been validated by this painting. I "somehow" chose to paint it in the style that I did and "somehow" chose to pick Albert Camus as my subject. The style resembles that of Clyfford Still who, under the popular shadow of Jackson Pollock, is considered with painting the epitome of abstract expressionism and who also knew that paintings aren't meant to be decrypted or solved as so many misguided art critics seem to profess. Albert Camus's philosophical journeys seem to validate the absurdity of the painting. There was no purpose or meaning consciously injected into the painting. It's creativity was the byproduct of absurdity – which by some semi-mystical way began to take on a meaning of itself. Instead of taking something already meaningful and visualizing it, as many artists do, I feel I have visualized something which began to attract meaning into itself as a way of legitamizing itself as a work of art.


I won't be casted into the fray of trying to define the purpose of the black, white, grey and reds meaning in the context of the painting rather I've always been consumed by the things which can't be visually seen. Like the internal conflict that is thought, I hope the painting conveys something which acts as a catalyst for thought. Think what you may think, but maintain those thoughts.


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