|Life my sister (after Boris Pasternak)|
The underlying poem of these six paintings is Boris Pasternak's "Life my sister" (1917) -- a poem, which I had, strangely, nearly forgotten, even though it used to be most important to me once upon a time, at the dawn of my life; a powerful revolt of a young poet against the dull reasonableness of adulthood, an expression of his deepest feeling of oneness with life, in all its glorious little details, more sacred than any sacred testament.
The first three paintings form a triptych; I used an older set of impressionistic still lifes to explore Henri Matisse's still life after Jan de Heem. This process (described in some detail in several blog posts turned out to be incredibly important for me, and somehow revived in my mind this nearly forgotten poem. It would be presumptuous to say that I really understand how it works, but it feels as though my search for layer after layer in de Heem's work and in Matisse's re-thinking of it revealed, as a side effect, deeper and deeper layers of my own life and memory.
I find it a little amusing (and not a little exhilarating) that my painting life began with a poem by an old Boris Pasternak, feeling the approach of his death, and has lead me as though back to his, and my own, youth. As though these painting years have scrubbed away layers of protective crusts people call "maturity", and returned me to that child-like immediate feeling of oneness, to youthful defiant abandon. So here is hoping that I won't turn into a toddler before the next website update...