Wednesday, March 06, 2013

“The Delivery” Art Flashback Wednesday

“The Delivery”
acrylic on canvas
48” x 48”
circa 2001
©Michael Sprouse

Today’s Art Flashback Wednesday is “The Delivery” (acrylic on canvas, circa 2001, 48” x 48”.)

This has long been one of my favorite works. I think it’s because of the unmistakable intrigue and mystery that he work evokes both as a painting and in real time.

The “real time” mystery surrounding the work arises from the fact that, save for photographs of the painting, the work has simply disappeared off of my radar. Due to an unfortunate computer crash several years ago, I don’t know who purchased the work and where it has found a home since its purchase.

Truth be told, I can’t correctly remember what year I painted the work, though I have a nagging feeling that it was around 2001. I do know that it sold to a private collector, but as of now – as it is sometimes known to occur with art of a particularly compelling nature - it could be in anyone’s collection in any part of the world.

The only thing that I can remember about this work was that it was inspired from a face that I noticed in a crowd shot from the 1920’s taken in Berlin. In my recollection, the crowd was composed of merrymakers in some swinging Jazz spot. She was standing halfway in shadow slightly further behind the main figures in the photo.

Her slightly askew body language and expression implied that she didn’t want her photo taken at all and that she had failed to escape the scope of the photographer’s lens. Not for reasons of vanity per se, but it seemed that she didn’t want to be visually captured at that particular time, in that particular place with those particular people.

Maybe she held some kind of dislike for the photographer – or maybe – it was love, or even lust. Whatever the reason, when I noticed her face, the rest of the crowd vanished leaving only her and her penetrating and eternal gaze.

When I began the work, I really wanted to focus on that sensation of being part of something yet not wanting to be part of something and the way it might register on one’s face. Once the work was completed however, I felt that the entire backstory had changed.

I suddenly saw her as someone who has just received a mysterious package. It’s not addressed to her. It’s addressed to someone in her life, perhaps her lover or mate. The package may have even be delivered by the ex of the special person in her life, or even one of her own lovers from the past.

Whatever the reason, she is all at once intrigued, anxious, compelled and mistrustful at the same time. She has just opened the door to “The Delivery.”

1 comment:

Lydia said...

Wow, did this one ever pop out for recognition in my blog's sidebar! Totally hypnotic and evocative painting, Michael. I love both backstories equally.

(Sent you a friend request at fb under my full name last week....)