call it anything

    Stories first people fear robbed of self when photographed adds understanding of Caravaggio heavy investment in religious scenes expanded self portraits. Did not Caravaggio bring genre of self portrait to conclusion? Goliath, his own dismembered self dead to himself seen in those extinguished eyes meticulously observed by same eyes robbed and denied lights of life be seen in them.


    Dead van Dienst eyes shine dark, seeing all seen by sight, vastness of vision individual life has but limited access to since light outlasts life (James J. Gibson) yet a vastness Rembrandt suggest theoretical asset of dead lens of eye. Remember ‘theory’, Greek theater, same radical as 'theorein', to watch with eyes, to concentrate parabolic attention of audience into single point of focus of individual fate. Physical theater of Epidaurus: lens of language.


    Goliath eyes dead stripped extinguished while van Dienst shaded gaze shine dark experience.


    Caravaggio Goliath something of icon. Often said beholder watched by rather than watching holy persona. Definitely not case of Goliath. Yet. Caravaggio exposed to Byzantine tradition from early age. Rather than break away, learned physicality of image lost by renaissance bat-view-perspectivism. Make sense kiss icon but kiss some renaissance portrait no different than kiss window. Caravaggio immersion iconic in substance even when model lifted and held away from him in contempt, stinks, a screwed up icon still icon in sense of irrefutable substance, case of icon worthy of no veneration at all preserved by pity.


    Entered Nicolas Poussin Self-Portrait from 1650 his most compendious account of 'portrait' as genre in which subtle reference to his shadow cast on seemingly empty canvas on his left signed as his effigy, his portrait of himself from step back position. A shadow portrait cannot be grabbed by the hair. As far as one gets from flesh and blood Caravaggio self of Goliath. In absence of any trace of guilt associated with authorship Poussin discreetly pays reverence by reference, to himself.


    His chiaroscuro got Poussin consider Caravaggio influence disturbing and detrimental to art. Nevertheless made 'shadow' key term of his own picture code as expounded in Self Portrait from 1650.

    Would one not have expected Caravaggio explore 'shadows'? Did not. Rare. Most prominent one on wall behind Christ in London version of Emmaus. But to whom does it belong? Could it not be cast by servant on Christ right side rather than by Master himself? Anyhow slightly awkward element of composition. As if Caravaggio had borrowed it from signature shadows of next generation chiaroscuro painters like George de la Tour and others. Point is Caravaggio never got steeped into logic of shadow projection rather explored space-of-shade like Classical Far Eastern painters process of mist.

    Those Pine Trees by Hasegawa Tohaku (1539–1610) Tokyo National Museum have a Caravaggio feel about them. Projection of mist? strange idea where immersion is all. Cf shrouded in shade Caravaggio.


    Poussin radical break from icon. Image unsubstatiated shadow yet not fugacious. Preserve presence of model like bed of mold impression by necessity and not by convention. Veronica Veil master canvas among painters who did not stick to orthodox medium of panel but succulent fabric fix visual exhalation to canvas (confused receptacle of image loose folds of cloth) remembered like hologram by Zurbaran. Cf my sweater cannot resist see somebody not me jerky dance movement. Banksy took in possession show what I mean.


    Shadow left behind. Cut his shadow in sheet metal for template rip self portraits from personalized by signature greetings and all. Cf celebrities sign disseminate by numbers. Duchamp goes back to Poussin withdrawn approach with twist. Cf Halls of Fame likewise focus material presence and ghostlike distance. Do not hockey jerseys privileged numbers for name suspended in Hockey Heaven above rink reflect ghostlike materialism of Veronica since at inauguration that inundated cloth lifted from shoulders of player present see rise to iconic status.


    Signed only those two or rather twice: Murtola Medusa (first Medusa) and Decapitation of St John at Valletta. Both allude to namesake Michael Angel of Death set to defend Heavenly Kingdom with his sword. Other paintings no claim to authorship as definite by his hand as sworn statement. Signed those two in order be explicit about moment or act of identification as in beeing identical with. As to second, Uffizi Gallery Medusa, not signed since copying delegated to co-author Caravaggio not present at moment or act of identification.

    Why not sign his most obvious self of Goliath? Because remembered dismembered, would have nothing to do with that man. His most unsigned painting.

    Signature to Caravaggio does not tell maker deep owner but rare moment of lost to it. Cf Pollock numbered paintings where One not first of a series followed by 2,3,4... but rare occassion of complete immersion. Happened rarely. 'One' then neither name of painting nor signature but confusion of the two. See: One: Number 31.

    How differ from I was there, fuit hic, Kilroy was here, etc. Means somebody with a name might return. Pollock 'One' paintings and Caravaggio signed ones, cannot be re-visited neither nostalgically nor theoretically.

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    2D self shadow Duchamp suited archeological approach to life already in life. Foreseeing possibility of spending more time alive as dead in company with posterity possibly know him through his shadow which, generally speaking better company after demise than death-mask never spent time with its model in life. Given a twist in his cigar ashes kept in urn on mantelpiece.

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