I had a back-and-forth, restless time in becoming a painter. While loving color and pigment, I still resisted its dominance, spending most of my time making fanzines, windows and works with found objects. Looking at gorgeous painting was a double-edged sword, too, because really great painting can humiliate as well as inspire.
Monday, 25 January 1985
I study a lot of painting now and it looks so difficult. Yesterday Luke and I were at the De Young Museum. I spied the Robert Henri. This work, plus a few others, I stared at a long time.
- Then at night I was reading about Moholy-Nagy. Feininger wrote his wife: “All this talk about mechanics, light and motion and throwing the Old Painting away. Poor Klee is worried.” Frustrated Klee might have been, but he probably wasn’t that worried. Klee was such a master. Still, I feel for Moholy’s idea. There’s a part of me that hates the idea of painting, a framed thing on the wall to go oooo and ahhh over.”
It’s odd to read this now, after all these years and all this painting. But maybe that is why I have never framed anything – and still have, to this day, a complex relationship to paint. The past few years I thought it was all about money, but maybe it’s something else.