30 May 2010

entry for the Little Archies

My portrait is in for the Little Archies. I think I had vegemite on the lens when I tried to photograph it at midnight before carting it off to Huskisson, better pic later....

I wrote this note that night:

My subject is a very interesting man who interviews every state minister and politician and has said no to more of them more often than any other radio jock, including major stand-up's with you know who, to you know who's fury. Background in driving taxis in Sydney in 70s and 80s and radio in Griffith NSW so probably knows lots of things I don't want to know. Also time spent in the early 70s in the upper reaches of Kashmir. I had photographed him at work in the studio, where, it not being the ABC, he has to do everything to keep the thing on the road for 4 hours a day, 20 hours a week, with management jittering behind him. Without his taking over that slot, there would have been no fair elections, no change of government in Shoalhaven in 2008.

Then I had afternoon tea with Murray and Rosie and sons one afternoon on their semi-rural block, and there was this innocence and amiable generous family aspirational side that came out and somehow they have to be put together.

So I've tried to do that, with it all unfolding (unravelling) on the square metre of canvas (linen, actually, courtesy of the retirement village fete in Gerringong).. and I've just taken the worst and blurriest photo ever taken, which is herewith and no plan at midnight to replace it.

You see it began on the right in bucolia, all the icons of the Shoalhaven. Then he had to be portrayed also with four arms at least, frantic in the studio, There was a gun on the desk it's not there any more. The dark got painted in after other work; I had painted dark forces, including the dinosaur, bottom left, and then changed my mind, covered them with black gesso then changed my mind again, quickly enough, and they came back rather interestingly with a cloth applied to the gesso. The beach and the desk became one, a decision on coupling which was not really mine, which creates a jumble of people on the beach (and the highway) and the desk things. There is a second microphone in the studio, of course, a seductive thing in my experience, which suddenly yesterday turned into a woman with the figure of Jessica, Roger Rabbit's girlfriend (who can forget the unforgettable line "I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way.") and her head replaced by lips and speech bubble says "Talk to me." And so on... it's been fun. And you may all pass by on the day and say "Fun, yes, fun, Dennis. But is it art?" I'm working on the riposte....

Muz likes the figure on the left, looks like Rod Stewart, he says. Is that me too, he asked at lunchtime today...