March 13, 2009

duende and paint

Everything with black tones has duende and there is no truth greater… These black tones are mystery itself whose roots are held fast in the mulch we all know and ignore, but where we arrive at all that is substantial in art. [Black tones are a] mysterious power which everyone feels but which no philosopher can explain.

So then duende is a power not a method. The duende is not in the singers throat, the duende rises inside from the soles of one’s feet—it is not a question of ability but of possessing an authentic living style… it is in short the spirit of the earth.

The arrival of duende always presupposes a radical transformation on every plane. It produces a feeling of totally unedited freshness. It bears the quality of a newly crafted rose, of a miracle that produces an almost religious enthusiasm.

from Lorca's—The Havana Lectures—on duende

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These studio notes are scraps of poetry and ideas that feed my work as a painter. I hope they establish a bit of context for the paintings and my intention in making them. Whatever I paint, I’m trying to create some space for us to sit with the questions that are not meant to be answered.

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