While waiting for a larger piece to dry before continuing with it, I embarked upon a mixed media "Disasterpiece" this morning (by which I mean a work created mostly from materials that would have otherwise been in somebody's trash bin). Using pieces of wood found at the curb as a base, I created a collage with used packaging from coffee and tea I have purchased at the Kaffeeklatsch over the past months, then did a loose acrylic painting over all of it. Pin-Up Drinking Coffee [above] may be a fairly simple piece, but it does begin to hint ever so vaguely at my current thoughts on "mediation" in the arts.
I have long been fascinated not merely by the glamour of Classic Hollywood, but by the dignity and poise of the characters onscreen (regardless of what the actors themselves may have been like in person, of course) in comparison to the trend in current films. It is hard to picture Greta Garbo or Gregory Peck in a post-modern neurotic fit of shouting and yelling; the "pretty girl" of the classic film era could be a sophisticated aristocrat or a fast-talking factory-worker's daughter, but she generally spoke with wit and sparkling intelligence. Perhaps many call this unrealistic, forgetting that any "realism" the arts aspire to is still mediated and going through subjective filters so to speak, and that reality, to a certain extent, is malleable at that. Not every film is anything close to high art, but comparisons of dramatic/acting style, aesthetics, and how plots move along across decades and cultures highlight many questions pertaining to any form of art.
By using an Expressionistic style, I make it very clear that the above piece is an act of mediation, a painting, not attempting to be a convincing illusion of an object, person, et cetera. How I shall develop these thoughts, of course, remains to be seen, but for now, a small abstract sketch of a girl sipping coffee continues to spark countless meanderings of my mind. . .