Monday, September 8, 2008

Dutch Genre Painting

I was looking at the progress on the latest B-movie paintings this weekend, and it occurred to me that there is a link between this work and Dutch genre painting of the seventeenth century. These interiors of mine, often with single women, or with ambiguous relations between men and women, painted with a severely limited palette meant to evoke the flickering blue light of television screens, feel to me like more menacing relations to the finely wrought, crystalline and grey Dutch paintings of men and women in interiors, sharing wine, playing music. Perhaps not so much the great Vermeer, but more akin to the lesser, though also great, Dutch painters like Ter Borch and de Hooch. Sometimes my work feels like Dutch genre paintings filtered through film noir. Some of these Dutch paintings also feel ambiguous to our eyes, though usually the meaning would have been crystal clear to seventeenth century Dutch viewers. In a similar way, I like to consider Matisse's underrated Nice-period work of the 1920's to be luxurious, overheated heirs to Dutch genre painting.

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