I went to the Met the other day and spent a couple of hours in the Ancient Egyptian wing. I saw a lapis lazuli figurine that blew me away. It was small. But it filled the room with its energy. I keep seeing that vivid blue color in my mind’s eye.
De Kooning wrote that Ancient Egyptian art “trembles silently.” For a period over 3,500 years Egyptian artists created some of the most moving art I’ve seen. These artists worked under the most strict rules of proportion, color, and measure imaginable. These constraints barely changed for thousands of years. It makes me wonder about the “freedom” contemporary artists have.
I want to make paintings that are stable and quiet yet vibrate with an internal energy. All of the above was in my mind as I made this painting. It’s awkward. And a bit bizarre. Maybe it’s a dud. But the duds I make tend to lead to something good. Eventually. At least that’s what I tell myself. The alternative is too depressing.