I am back. I am watching all that transpires. Where do you find beauty? In a slag heap? With lots of ugly, awkward cranes pivoted against the skyline?
Slag heap in a port.
If you are like my friend, Alexander Wainwright, you will not find beauty here. Like a schoolboy with a crush, he is in the thrall of Venice and would consider my picture ugly. He would never understand the statement about decay and the passing of time with my picture of rotting fruit. One glance at this image and you will think of the cruelty of time.
In his Venice picture [below] just look at the light shimmering on the water. How alive it looks! See how beautifully the light falls upon such architecturally ornate buildings looking upon the Grand Canal. That’s Alex idea of beauty. Pretty—isn’t it? But that’s all it is—pretty. It has nothing significant to say.
Alex’s notion of beauty.
Now look again at my dreary slag heap—the awkward dirty yellow cranes jumbled together with the scrap metal heaped in dirty, black piles. To me, great beauty is to be found in my picture. It shows art’s darker underside. No light can exist without dark. And so, beauty is not some fixed idea but truly in the eye of the beholder. Also, my picture has much to say about hard labour and sweat and tears.
Alex thinks art’s purpose is to capture a moment in time and freeze-frame it. For me, I want to capture that wave of energy which leads to creation and ride it wherever it goes. Alex scoffs at my fruit bowl project, but I want to use that creative energy and pass it on to the viewer, who then collaborates by replenishing the fruit. Do you understand me? Sadly—l rather fear not!
I was planning to leave for Greece, but I’m stuck in Venice in a cramped flat overlooking some godforsaken little canal. Every morning, I am deafened by the robust singing of the gondoliers. Cursing, I pull the curtain against that “lovely” Venetian light and crawl back under the covers.
In the afternoon, I make my notes on my latest artistic project which will involve Alexander—although he does not yet know it. The project is underway and is going extremely well.
Why do I not simply arrange with Alex to meet up in Venice, especially when he is bringing me an offer from a prospective purchaser of my work? Let’s call it a psychological experiment– this my work of art. Alex must hunt and chase me first. Call it performance art. After all, Alex is a good “soldier” a will follow along. I guarantee it will be most entertaining.