Sunday, April 13, 2008
“But there’s nothing here,” the artist kept saying. He appeared oppressed by the emptiness. Maybe he just couldn’t stand that it forced him to pay more attention to his own thoughts. He didn’t do much else other than take photographs. He asked me to drive him on long, fruitless searches for landscapes he could paint. He aimed his camera at the sky though the car’s windscreen and once, stretched his arm up out of the passenger-side window, hoping for some unframed stroke of luck. He accumulated hundreds of rolls of exposed film. Later, when he returned to his city studio, he developed them to study. The landscapes he painted from them, in oils warmed with a sepia tinted varnish, would look nothing like the barren places he visited.