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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Coromo In New York, parts 1715 - 1718

1715. The next day Tallulah threw all six Coromo’s out in the trash, and never though about them again. There are people in New York City who, every minute, are on the lookout for valuables out at the curb with the trash, some look for furniture and others look for potted plants, and still others are looking for paintings and frames with or without any pictures or glass. One such person was a picture framer by trade, and he took the six Coromo paintings and put them in the back seat of his car.

1716. He had no use for the paintings but he considered the stretchers to be worth something. He intended to pull the canvases from the stretchers, throw away the paintings, and put the stretchers into his stretcher bin. He did pull the canvas off of the stretchers but he changed his mind about the paintings. He stapled all six paintings to his workroom wall and painted them dark brown with some oil paint.

1717. He painted them entirely over with a dark burnt umber with a little ultramarine blue added to make it even blacker in tone and then he let them dry for four days. At the end of four days he soaked a rag in turpentine and rubbed as much of the brown paint from the Coromo paintings as he could get off the surface, and after that he rubbed them down with steel wool and waxed them. When he was done Coromo’s paintings looked like old antique primitive works someone might have dug out of the ground.

1718. Never underestimate the value of burn umber, ultramarine blue, turpentine and steel wool to make something look like an old and valuable work of art. A great many Rembrandts have been created out of lesser works by this exact process. Sometimes however the process is reversed. In the case of the Sistine Chapel all of the dirt and grime, which took four hundred years to accumulate, was entirely removed from the ceiling by the Japanese, making it look like a Disney cartoon instead of the grand historic work it is.
Richard Britell

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