2008, oil on canvas, 84" x 56"
Another appeal to some imagined other.
Who you talking to?
Nobody. Just thinking. I’m no longer interested in watching.
You know those portraits where the eyes are pointed at the viewer, but they’re not really looking.
Maybe. You mean eyes that don’t stare back?
In a way. It’s a gaze that doesn’t engage. Actually I’m not talking about paintings really.
You’re jet-lagged, aren’t you? Why didn’t you take the day off?
I discovered Grappa. I no longer need sleep.
I can’t drink it. It gives me a headache.
Can you blur your eyes? Can you deliberately make what’s in front of you blurry?
At my age, I don’t have to try.
I don’t think I can, I don’t know.
Well I can and sometimes when I’m talking to someone and I do it, I wonder if my gaze at that moment isn’t engaging, like it’s distant or something.
Ok, look at me and start talking.
How about those Saints?
Which ones? The Catherine’s or the football team? Can you tell I’m doing it? I’m fuzzing you out.
No, you just look weird, that's all. Tell me about Catherine of Alexandria. Are you Catholic?
Only by osmosis. Catherine is patron saint of unmarried women, students and philosophers.
Quite a combination.
When she converted to Christianity, she was asked by the Emperor to defend her position to fifty philosophers. She ended up converting all of them and then the Emperor ordered her execution, by the wheel. But when she touched the wheel it broke, and so he had her beheaded.
Yeah, she’s gone. There’s no Catherine’s around today. Susan Sontag may have been the last one.
Give me a break. There are tons.
Hannah Arendt is dead too.
Plenty of people still read her. She’s not dead.
She used to be sort of mainstream. I mean she wrote for The New Yorker. Where’s that voice today? It’s been vanquished.
No, it hasn't. It’s at an artist residency. It’ll be back. Didn’t we have this argument already?
Yeah, you made me cry.
No, I didn’t! But I think you’re trying to make me cry. Give me some of that Grappa. #