Big news: I am very excited to announce that I will have a solo exhibit (!) of my Alain Robbe-Grillet paintings. I will host a party for my show and maybe even screen a film of his at the brand new Holyrad Studio in East Williamsburg at on October 3rd. Many of these paintings will be up for sale if you want to spice up your walls. My paintings focus on the first four films of Alain Robbe-Grillet: L’immortelle (1963), Trans-Europ-Express (1966), The Man Who Lies (1968), and Eden and After (1970).
“Within you, may all ecstasy be in agony, and may all pleasure yearn to die.” – Marcel Schwob
My series of paintings on the films of Alain Robbe-Grillet started with a pencil sketch of the scenes that first sucked me into his world: it involves a bustier, a coil of rope, and a strangulation (more on that in a later post).
“Reality and fantasy aren’t just intertwined, they’re indistinguishable.” – Leopold Von Sacher-Masoch
Afterwards, I started using acrylic paint, Sumi ink, and India ink on watercolor paper. These paintings are self-portraits just as much as they are my recreations of my favorite scenes from his films.
“A kiss is the beginning of cannibalism.” – Georges Bataille
The ink splatter technique started off as an accident. I liked the “mistake” so much that I would return to it again and again. The versatility of it– that it can suggest both violence and ecstasy– appeals to me. Likewise, every “scratch” made with my calligraphy pen nib or every stroke of my paint brush, is a wound, scar, or tattoo that brands and defiles the purity of the face (perhaps not dissimilar to the “sex flush,” when one develops reddish spots on their body during orgasm).
“The taboo would forbid the transgression but the fascination compels it.” – Georges Bataille
Without even planning it, I seemed to focus almost exclusively on images of strong, disembodied hands (that either circle a delicate throat in a chokehold or tenderly grasp a face to lean in for a kiss) and eyes (that either look directly at the viewer, shut to savor the pleasure or pain being felt, or are covered altogether with a blindfold).
“Extreme seductiveness is at the boundary of horror.”– Georges Bataille
I am fueled by the themes of transgression, voyeurism, power, murder, desecration, and evil. Supposed oppositions attract me: the lure of fear, the beauty of betrayal, the nobility of abjection, the euphoria of pain, and the rapture of mortification. Other series in the future (many of which will also be film-related) will explore these themes.
“Pornography is direct and eroticism is indirect. In eroticism, there is a critical distance and a judgement on sexual impulses, while pornography is the absence of judgment. When the crudity of the sexual act goes through the imagination it becomes eroticism, and when it doesn’t, it is pornography.” – Alain Robbe-Grillet
In addition to Alain Robbe-Grillet, I am inspired by the work of Yukio Mishima, Jean Genet, the Marquis de Sade, Georges Bataille, Leopold Von Sacher-Masoch, Baudelaire, Stéphane Mallarmé, Alberto Moravia, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Jean Rollin, Jess Franco, among others.