Thursday, June 2, 2011

Post # 900 The Square Deal

The Wooden Dumpster


Above is yet another of the trove of recently discovered paintings by noted 17th century tyro Dirk Van Assaerts. I had enormous difficulty photographing this piece. When I figure out how to get a better image I will show you that. I keep getting moire patterns and surface glare. It must be because it is so dark.

This painting has a problem, as usual. Everything in it is square, parallel to the edge of the canvas. It is wicked rigid and static. It is SQUARE. That's not hip.There are few designs less imaginative and more boring. But, we see a lot of industrial or edgy subjects painted that way. Art students are very fond of these designs, they are confrontational I guess. They stand directly in front of their subject and there it is, devoid of content or arrangement. Again, one or two of these in a larger show might be OK, but none would be preferable.

Below is further biographical information on the artist.

Dirk arranged an appointment with the Access to Creativity officer for his district. When he arrived, the officer was friendly and welcoming. He was an artist too! Dirk made a point of hiply saying "like" in every single sentence. The officer then said, "Sure, there's probably a grant for you, say, do you like working with three year olds? WE have a lot of that one right now". He explained that the things in Dirks portfolio were very nice, but that the local cell of the Accreditation Commission For Conformity Assessment Bodies who would actually be making the decision, liked to see edgier, more contemporary work. Realism was OK, now, anyway.... but it needed to be relevant to today, cutting edge and nonsentimental. Gritty realism is best. You know? Like all that other stuff out there.

Dirk knew just what to do . He took his easel made of sturdy deal, out behind the knackers shop. There he painted the old wooden dumpster. He saw his childrens faces looking up at him and his wife in her sofa, and he went hard to work. He set up his easel directly in front of the dumpster, placing it a little off center in his composition so it wouldn't be right in the middle of his canvas. He drew carefully being sure to include both the top and bottom of the dumpster and leave some air around it too. He used a viewfinder and he made a point of getting it all just like nature.

He finished the picture as carefully as he could and put it into a silver engine turned frame. There was a lot of paper work for the grant, but he carefully filled it all out correctly. Then he dropped the painting off at the submission entrance to the Conformity Bodies building, being careful to staple his paperwork in its isinglass envelope securely to its back.


Philip Koch said...

Boy do I know what you mean about "square" paintings- usually they're either abstract or many realist images placed in a rectangular grid that completely dominates the composition.

Never in my life have I had the slightest urge to use a grid. When I look at all the wonderful things one can do with one's shapes why would anyone opt for the grid?

Some things are just going to remain mysteries to me.

Unknown said...

this makes me wonder:
what's IN the dumpster?
Did they recycle?
Is it bear proof?

You know, you make better paintings than 90% of artists, even when you're just illustrating a point!

ha.. the verification word today is "plain". How perfect.

billspaintingmn said...

Wow! A silver engine turned frame!
Did he get a grant? said...

This is a trick knew I would like it, didn't you.
I do like rectangles. When you grow up in the city you spend your whole day looking at them...they sort of become your friends. Nice painting.

Brady said...

I think our errant dutch friend also found a time machine to the future, for right above that dumpster we find a lost masterwork of minimalist art.

Behold the square!

He could truly say that he painted squares before anyone else.

Chris said...

Ha, I love the dumpster! Your recent posts have hit a new high, congrats on post #900.

Libby Fife said...

Starting to feel a bit sorry for Dirk. I wonder if things will begin to look up for him soon?

alotter said...

The composition may be faulted, but the texture is superb. Herculean effort by the artist rewarded, I say.

billspaintingmn said...

Yeah, Stape! There are some nice things in this.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I can't imagine you snapping a picture to a grid.

Stapleton Kearns said...

If you read he post carefully you can figure out what is in the dumpster.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Yes, Dutch ripple seemed too plain.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Many of my friends are squares too.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Brady: That is an authentic 17th century sign denoting square.

Stapleton Kearns said...


Stapleton Kearns said...

Libby Fife;
Life is short, brutish and \nasty in this era.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I am sure he would have been pleased.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Dirk had a very good tactile sense, just no design skills.