Friday, May 14, 2010

Image of the Day

Rirkrit Tiravanija, Less Oil, More Courage
(on view at the
Kunsthalle Fridericianum in 2009).

Tiravanija explained about the piece in 2007:

Some years ago I received an invitation card in the mail from a gallery in New York, (Matthew Marks); it was an invitation to an exhibition by a young artist by the name of Peter Cain. Peter was a painter known for his anamorphic splicing of cars; they were coolly painted with the brushes of oil paint thickly applied to canvas. They were the marks of a realist (almost graphic) with the narrative of a surreal world; it was the world of surfaces and the surfaces of the metallic baked enamel of cars. . . . Peter’s life was cut short and he did not see beyond the age of 37, and the invitation I received was for an exhibition five years after his death.

On the front of the invitation card was a reproduction from a page of Peter’s artist’s notebook: a text that read “More courage less oil”. Taken in context, that message was clearly a note to himself about the dilemma of being a painter and the moral choices one faces in executing a painting. I kept the card on my wall all these years for what I thought was a very inspired thought, not just for a painter but also perhaps for all artists.

Today, in the present context, we face a different dilemma altogether. The question of courage and the thoughts facing our present condition come ironically from the turn of Peter Cain’s inspired message. . . . .

The artist is currently showing at Galerie Chantal Crousel in Paris; more info here.

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