Sunday, 30 October 2016

Rain, Steam and Speed

How often do we read the art critics and think: you’re making all this up; your words fantasies; a painting merely the spring board from which you jump into your imaginary swimming pool; four sides of an echo chamber containing nothing but secondhand screams, reverberating cries; the heavy breathing of Sigmund Freud. Poor Sigmund, thinking himself so natty in his tight bathing trunks, he crawls over a Kandinsky colour study in blue, pink and green. “Ow!” He has scraped his knee on a cracked tile. How many times do we think this? Too many times.


Splash! Yelling his head off, he’s having fun! fun! fun! Capering about, he soaks us with his ideas, as we sit demurely in our deck chairs, watching his words diving up and down, feeling them splatter the bright blue tiles, the red of our feet and thighs. “Fountains of joy bring the rain of pain” is my softly spoken response. Katerina wriggles, giggles, throws the magazine onto the floor. “I’m joining you!”

Here is a mythological reading that tells us something new…

Thomas argues, comes extremely close to showing, that this train represents Orion, whose destiny is to forever hunt but never kill his prey. Turner’s train always to stop short of the hare. Two centuries of thought have been overturned. A painting famous for depicting speed, the symbol of the modern era, is revealed to be its opposite; a work of classical art; action in stasis; its figures rooted to the past, in a tradition. The meaning not in the naturalistic rendering of movement, but in the myth that encompasses it.

In myth we discover the truth. These shapes are going nowhere. This is a picture only.

Katerina grabs Inigo around the waist. Twisting around his torso, she squeezes up and kisses him on the cheek; calling me to join them. Soon she is sitting on his shoulders, waving and smiling and shouting: “Come on. Come on!” I get up, shout back and run…