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Self-portraits Disguised as Narrative


Have been looking and looking and looking at the recent work, A Sky Full of X’s and O’s and realize more than ever that these XO Comic paintings are self-portraits disguised as narratives.

In consumer culture, so many things can get associated with stars, pop songs, images. My biography of a young life on airplanes, long-distance relationships, relationships to art and culture, and seeing myself in advertisements and otherwise seem apparent here. As with all the XO Comic paintings. Not to mention to intersection between the commercial, popular and high arts. The format alone suggests that.

So, with the woman waiting on a couch (a takeoff on a Jessica Simpson ad), the smiling Jasper Johns before one of his Targets (a comment on young artists and success, my own Target/Target and use of circles and focus and primary colors), The motel image is from a postcard of a motel my father and I stayed at on a road trip from California to Montana circa 1980 (remember when motels had postcards of themselves you could take?)…. the associations go on and on.

I think over and over about the idea of Rauschenberg and others that there is no such thing as random. Even these associations, as maybe all things, congeal into a self-portrait.

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