**click portrait to enlarge**
(oil painting on cardboard, 28X60, 2000)
"A la Degas"
I'm not sure why I called this painting "A La Degas". A more proper name for it would have been "a la Degas and Modigliani", since the only thing that it has in common with Edgar Degas' artwork is the subject matter, while the style is more reminiscent of Modigliani. I never try to imitate other artists on purpose. Sometimes I just end up doing it subconsciously. Especially when I'm tired, which was the case with this particular painting.
When I'm tired I paint in a semi-comatose state (which happens a lot since I tend to paint late at night). There were times when I was so absent-minded and mentally disconnected from my work that I probably wouldn't have even noticed if somebody were to substitute my art for a fence. I would most likely just keep on painting it. At times like these examining a painting afterwards could be quite an adventure. That's when I usually try to figure out from which parts of my mind it came from.
As a child I had a very limited access to the original work by modern art masters. However, my family had a number of art books containing reproductions, which must have imbedded themselves into my subconscious. So once in a while my subconscious pays homage to the works of Modigliani or Degas without my conscience being fully aware of it until it sees the completed painting. "A La Degas" happens to be one of these works.
"Painting is easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do."
"What I am seeking is not the real and not the unreal but rather the unconscious, the mystery of the instinctive in the human race."
"A painting requires a little mystery, some vagueness, some fantasy. When you always make your meaning perfectly plain you end up boring people."
"The function of art is to struggle against obligation."