Artist’s Journal: NUMBER 63


CHANNELING CY? I had an unexpected shock today.  José Manuel Durão Barroso, former Prime Minister of Portugal (2002 – 2004) and, at this posting, is the current President of the European Commission.  He said, “What people call serendipity sometimes is just having your eyes open.”

Well, talk about an eye-full?  I was emailing a new colleague and fellow artist David Richardson about his Artist Profile page on the new South Coast Artist Profiles website and was checking a link to his blog page when – Bam – right between the eyes – this Twombly drawing hit me!

TITLE: Poems to the Sea ARTIST: Cy Twombly
TITLE: Poems to the Sea
ARTIST: Cy Twombly

It was a bit of a shock as I said.  I was staring at a Cy Twombly.  Or, maybe more correctly, it was staring at me.  It was vexing me.  “Ah-ha – got you last!” or, “tag, you’re it!”


In the subsequent emails that David and I exchanged, he sort of convinced me to finally do what I’ve been avoiding all these years – to look at and read about Twombly.

I’ve written about Twombly here many times.  I know and, I’ve known for a long time that I’m afraid to look at the work and the life of the man that everyone has equated me with for nearly forty years.

FEAR – DAMN RIGHT IT’S FEAR – it’s a fear that I’m not authentic or original.  Benjamin Disraeli said, “Fear makes us feel our humanity.”  André Gide, the French author and Nobel Prize winner in literature said, “There are very few monsters who warrant the fear we have of them.”

I never thought of Cy Twombly as a monster.  But I have wondered how two people can be so cosmically connected.  To me and, maybe to me only it’s like looking in a mirror.  It’s exciting.  It’s creepy.  It’s annoying.

So, as one of the editors of the old New York City newspaper, The Sun, in his reply to Virginia, yes, that Virginia; Francis Pharcellus Church wrote, “Yes, Virginia… Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world. You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond.”

My fear then, perhaps is in tearing apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside.  David said, “I guess you have two choices.  You can not look at him or you can look at everything you can find.  I chose the second.  I don’t remember exactly when I discovered him but I first saw a lot of his work at the Whitney’s Cy Twombly 50 Years of Works on Paper…”

He continued, “The thing about knowledge is you can’t go back to the garden so I think you really have no choice but to learn about him.”

I’ll end this journal entry and, begin my new commitment with this quote from the man who discovered one of the greatest archeological treasures of all time – the Tomb of Tutankhamen – Howard Carter.

He said, “It soon became obvious that we were but on the threshold of the discovery.”

Onward.  Forward.  Thanks David!

Posted on: 19/08/2013, by :
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