Fascist Line and Rainbow Curve

Posted: August 30, 2013 in Reviews and Critical Stabs
Tags: , ,

Fine-Feathered Framed

“Fine Feathered” by Lysa Provencio 


I love this.  The haughtiness.  The clearly defined  borders.   The sight-line that’s as tense and straight as a sniper’s nerve.   

Icy.  Icy.  Icy.   I love the frosty austerity. 

I get a sense of Artemis, The Goddess of the Hunt, who was also protectress of  young animals. A paradoxical figure.  Loading the maternal aspect of her divinity, there is a plumpness within the figures. The woman.  The bird.  The cloud.   There is a swollen,  almost pregnant, softness.

Behind it all is an Egyptian ether.   Infinity and afterlife.  The narrative is traced against it and will pass into it.

The subject’s extended hand turns inward.  Which shows the artist’s sharp conceptualizing power turned against herself.  The coldness works against any kind of liberal or humanist sentiment that Artemis, twin sister of Apollo, was incapable of entertaining.  There’s a divine female grace and strict Apollonian detachment.  Futhermore, the pointed needle signifies a steely self-refinement that’s very yang. It’s yang like fascism is yang.  Not at all concerned with the quantity of blood.  Rather, concerned with the quality of blood that’s sacrificed for its own regeneration.

On the frontier of the battle between female fullness and austere male line, is the scribble in the upper left-hand corner.  A hairy contest between circle and right-angle.   It’s emphasised in black but hushed in scale like a very serious muse.  It’s a key referent where one begins to read the painting from left to right. I see it as a turbulent intercoursing  between motifs that are untangled and solved without compromise in the larger picture.  1)The clear line and 90 degree angle which is an Egyptian, Greco-Roman and fascist motif. 2)The  swollen figures, plush with tender feelings, which is a Rainbow Democracy  motif. Furthering the rainbow mentality, the thought cloud above the blue-bird is a blank. Reason is replaced by a mesmerizing swirl of feeling. Finally, teardrops rain upon the blue-bird with its wing in a noose tied to the arm of power.  

Which brings me to the kind of open-ended question that gives a painting an extended life through right-wing and left-wing revolutions.  Does the leashed bird represent the truth that all of  life is hierarchical, just as the fascists and their antecedents viewed it? Or does the leashed bird represent  the pathos of human oppression as the American Rainbow Democrats and their contemporaries view it?  Only one thing is certain: the painting has a beautiful tension. It presents a modest, and very ladylike,  synthesis of radical opposites.   

There’s a never ending war in this sublimely gentle piece between hyper-control and hyper-emotionality.  It is, I think, an accidental masterpiece.  Created with no ambition to speak to history or the gods. Yet, it does.  Softly. 




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