My fuzzy photos of struggles in my messy studio (see above).
I just finished, or quit work on, a painting that I've been struggling with for a long time.
The painting's title is Hustled, it's another painting from the new series about David Wojnarowicz. It's based on his accounts in The Waterfront Journals and other autobiographical sources of violent sexual encounters in his days as a hustler. David tells these stories with a combination of sado-masochism, horror, and a certain defiant "see what I survived" pride. I hoped to combine all those qualities into a single painting that summarizes those many stories in Wojnarowicz's writings.
I must admit that after working and reworking this painting a lot, I'm still not happy with it. I may revisit it at a later date. Instead of destroying what I've got (as you can see I did already on this picture), I may put it aside and start a fresh canvas down the road some time.
Here is the finished painting with details.
The painting above went through several dramatic alterations.
First, it started out as a painting of David Wojnarowicz participating in an ACT-UP protest, an imaginary blockade of a bridge. I never finished this picture, and decided to discard it when I came up with a couple of much better, and I hope more focused and active concepts for commemorating David's work with ACT-UP.
I sanded out this picture and began painting the first state of the Hustled picture.
This is the last of about a dozen sketches that I did for the Hustled painting.
This is one of 2 life drawings that I made for the figure of David in Hustled on a too hot night in July. The model was more comfortable than I was.
Here is the first version of the Hustled painting.
This is the second state of the Hustled painting.
This is the third state of the painting.
This is the painting's current and final state.
I'm working on the next painting in the Wojnarowicz series, a picture I'm calling Painting Fire based on David's paintings in the abandoned piers on the West Side.
Here is the second of 2 sketches for the painting.
Here is my usual model posing for David.
Here he is again posing for David a second time.
Here is the torso from that second life drawing.
And here is a blurry glimpse of the painting in its first stages. It will probably look very different when it is finally finished.
In addition to this, I just stretched a canvas for another mountain picture, and I'm beginning to work on sketches for an 8 to 10 painting series on the Incarnation of Christ which I hope to start this Spring or Summer, and plan to work on concurrently with the Wojnarowicz series. I also plan to throw in another Apollo painting sometime soon.
In the Wojnarowicz series, I plan more paintings about him as an artist, including one of him smashing up a gallery with a sledgehammer (that really happened). As soon as I finish with this painting, I plan to begin work on pictures about AIDS, Wojnarowicz's involvement with ACT-UP, and others based on his reflections on mortality.
I sometimes wonder if the patron deity of artists should be neither Saint Luke nor Daedalus but Siva who destroys in order to create anew.