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Monday, February 18, 2013

Mrs. Festini's Hat Box, parts 1238 - 1241

1238. Consisting of two store mannequins upside down next to a defunct sewing machine on top of a cardboard box painted pink. A broken plaster cast of the torso of the Venus De Milo with part of the breast smashed off and obscenities written on it in magic marker.  Some broken and rusted tricycles leaning on one of those chairs made of bent wood with a circular seat. From a distance the still life resembles seven cubic feet of a trash heap set up on a low platform.

1239. Emma is working on her still life sitting in a chair, bent forward with her face six inches from the surface of her canvas. All her paints and brushes are set up on a small table and if you watched her at work you would see no difference in her motions than to a competent dentist hard at work on a root canal. She even has a magnifying glass, and a tool called a mahl stick, long out of use, to support her brush hand in the air as she works.

1240. Charles Ralston-Purina has set up his easel behind her. He takes up much more room in the studio, and is working on a much larger canvas. In his behavior and his motions as he works on his painting you would think he is engaged in sword fighting rather than painting. He jumps at his canvas and then lunges back, dances from left to right slashing at his canvas with broad strokes, paint flies all over everything, some of the splatters even landing on Emma' canvas which she wipes away with a small rag.

1241. Charles is oblivious to Emma, and completely unaware that his violent motions and gestures are distracting. Several times during the morning his canvas and easel have crashed down on the floor behind Emma, after some too vigorous thrusts. Emma endures the disruptions with indifference in the same way she would ignore a storm raging outside during hurricane season.

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