Saturday, November 19, 2011

The day-time face of Harlequin

This painting (36"x24") was not, originally, a part of our Picasso-challenge project. It began as a study of seated male nude, and then evolved into an attempt of translation into painting of a poem by Alexander Blok (I wrote about it here and here).

As I was working on this painting, I was deliberately looking for visual cultural links,  idioms of the target language of my attempt at translation. However, a mysterious trickery of my brain created a kind of temporal amnesia as far as Picasso's treatment of Harlequin (and related paintings) are concerned. I've known and loved these paintings all my life, and yet I did not think once about them. My suspicion is that one side of me knew that if I "remembered" these paintings, I would simply abandon this project -- since they are really as close to the perfect counterpart of Blok's poem as humanely possible.

They did come back to me in the course of our Picasso challenge -- too late for me to abandon the painting, but just in time to remove the last stumbling block (the background and some aspects of its interaction with the figure).  

No comments: