Nov. 24, 2021


When I was a fourth year student at the Cleveland Institute of Art one of my instructors was a visiting artist from new York named Michael Fenton. He told a number of stories about his time there. Once he described a large painting someone did. That painting consisted of just one half of the painting a solid color and the other half another color. If you stood in front of the painting and looked at it without focusing on one area after a time in the center of the painting where the two colors met a third color would appear but only in the viewers mind. That brings to mind the song Rainy Day Women 12x35 by Dylan. The song is about getting stoned in the Biblical sense ( a death sentence ), and is about getting stoned as in getting high, two very different things. What is really is about is a state of mind that is a combination of the two that is not easily put into words. I once watch a documentary on Picasso, Braque, etc. The art historians at one point wondered why Picasso and other painters of that early 20th century period liked being around poets so much. When a number of completely new types of visual vocabularies opened up during that period the combination of ( sometimes very different ) images in the visual arts became closely related to the way the cutting edge poets of the time in words achieved their best results.