Painting Pictures of Mankind

There are three types of people in the world: Jasper Johns, Monets, and Vermeers.

From a distance the Jasper Johns are all fucked up. Get near them, and they are still fucked up. And get really up close, get into their space, and you’ll see, yes, still fucked up.

Monets, from a distance, have it all together. But get near them, become their casual friend, and you’ll see clearly how messed up they are. And really up close, it’s madness.

And Vermeers? Well, from a distance they have it all together. Get close, and they are still all together. But get up really close, become their lover, and you’ll see the crazy. The harrying of the brush-strokes. The mad war where greens meet yellows. The peaks and valleys of the oils clumping on the fabric of their canvas. Perhaps controlled insanity? But insanity none the less.

In intimate closeness, they are all maniae. Yet this is not all they share.

No.

Each is viewed but through a frame, that if we lift and look beyond we see the paint fade off. Vermeer’s kitchen fading to the nothing house. Monet’s Japanese bridge to nowhere. John’s paint splotch that just stops, ends. And in this nothing, we find everything: The painter is there; The brushes are there; The wheat and the chaff; The flowers and the roads; Even the abstract, the numbers and concepts. They all live beyond the wooden box of our constraints. The frames are just a view we impose upon them.

There are three types of people in the world: Jasper Johns, Monets, and Vermeers. They are all beautiful.

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