New Work. What Life?

art, art criticism, artforum, artist, contemporary artist, gallery, Luigi Monteferrante, visual arts

Below, my most recent work. It has been quite a while since my last post. I have been busy painting. While painting, I listen to podcasts from BBC and WNYC, or I listen to rock music on Virgin Radio. I take frequent breaks for tea, prepare lunch and dinner, teach five hours a week, try to go for a walk in the evening on the seaside promenade literally steps from my house, and go to bed thinking about what might my next painting be. That’s it. I can’t even read in bed, or elsewhere, because I need to shut my eyes, shut down, and dream or envision things, scenes, plot lines, scenarios. And I need to sleep.

I suppose I should go out a bit more. I was out on an errand up in town a few days ago, and on walking on the main street,  what words suddenly came to mind?

Wow, world.

Yes, there is a world out there, as real or fictitious as these, each a stage wherein you play your part.

And move on, or move aside.

Today, though, I am taking a little break. I sketched my next painting, but instead of putting on my work clothes, I put on my running gear and went jogging on a sunny beach. No podcast, music. Just the sound of the sea and a northerly breeze.

I noted the colors – sea, sky, waves. They might go into this next painting.

I jumped over a sea monster emerging from the shore –  driftwood too large and immersed too deep into the pit of sea and sand to pull out and drag home.

I ran on, this sea monster impressed upon me, a possible feature of a future painting in another country of the mind, one with its own mythologies I may create one day.

But for now, other priorities;  I have to cook ragu’ for my signora, after which I am teaching for an hour.

Since I am up in town, I will certainly stroll about Piazza Rossetti,  maybe take some pictures, cross paths with acquaintances, stop for a chat.

Yes, join that world, the real world, grant myself the time today to grasp, feel, act and move in clean new clothes, an ironed shirt,  crisp trousers, polished shoes to remind myself I am a character, minor, in a larger picture.

But life is in these miniatures …

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Purgatorio

art, artist, contemporary artist, gallery, Luigi Monteferrante
Luigi Monteferrante in Caravaggio mode.

Luigi Monteferrante in Caravaggio mode.

One day, one day without painting, was hell – no, but purgatorio, si.

Yesterday, work on the house had me assisting the bricklayer and plumber, and so I was on call for errands, cleaning, and moving furniture back and forth. Nothing heavy, nor tiring, and with small talk, the morning passed by easily enough.

By afternoon, however, the realization that I had nothing in mind, body, or spirit regarding my next painting had me feeling wretched, my mind not a blank, which conjures a clean, fresh, bright page, canvas or screen; instead, a thick, turgid, muddy green/grey swamp dully bubbling at an ever-decreasing rate and temperature.

My body, too, began to creak, my muscles   growing taut, my spirit sluggish, dull, a smoky fog as heavy as a lead mantle.

The day’s work done, I walked into the night by the sea, head slung low, the only rumblings the crash of waves ashore. So, too, dinner and after, a quiet evening of dull despair and emptiness failed to bring deliverance.

I woke up at 3:09, ready to plug my ears with a BBC podcast when suddenly a vision.

A vision.

That is: two consecutive, successive visions.

Clear, perfect, two bodies of work delivered bedside.

La notte porta giudizio, says an Italian proverb, night brings wisdom.

And something more. Levitation. And the exit sign out of Limbo.