It takes expert reflexes to snap a random spy pic before your target, er, subject, moves out of frame and the moment is lost to time. I captured this lady wearing a vibrant Pink Raincoat while viewing the Jasper Johns exhibit, Mind Mirror, at the Whitney Museum.
Jasper Johns’ Field Painting (1963 – 64) is one of many works the artist has made throughout his career that suggest tactile as well as visual interactions. Sometimes, as in the case of the hinged letters in this canvas and the dangling strings of his later Catenary series, the appended objects actually marked the painted surface.
In Montez Singing (1989), the cartoonish eyes and meandering nose from Picasso’s Straw Hat with Blue Leaves (1936), along with a pair of stylized lips, attach themselves to the edges of the painting, so that it becomes a face peering in on itself. At the right of the canvas, mitered corners suggest a frame that dissolves on the left, while wispy strokes at the sides might read as hair and the circles below as breasts.
Ryan Weston Shook, also known as Saber, titled I Saw It in a Dream (2019) after a quote by Abstract Expressionist painter Jasper Johns and created the piece via an encaustic wax process, its layers creating a textural surface. The flag symbolism has evolved with the artist over the years, with him questioning its meaning for broad swath of people. Saber’s paintings borrow elements, techniques and materials that he once used as a 21-year-old, rising to international fame in 1996 after painting the world’s largest graffiti piece on the bank of the Los Angeles River. Eight years after the fact, the LA County Museum of Natural History commissioned him to paint a miniature version of his piece on its riverbed diorama. The visibility of this 250-by-55-foor work (documented by satellites in space) and his years of press coverage for other creations shined a glaring public spotlight on the form. The artist’s studio work exemplifies his further exploration of movement and energy.
Photographed as part of Beyond The Streets in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Jasper Johns began to incorporate a cross-hatch pattern in his paintings after seeing it on a car: “It had all the qualities that interest me — literalness, repetitiveness, an obsessive quality, order with dumbness, and the possibility of a complete lack of meaning.” Using encaustic, a method of paint that suspends pigment in hot wax, Johns created lush, layered paintings with richly textured surfaces.
Between The Clock and The Bed (1981) reference’s Self-Portrait Between The Clock and The Bed (1940 – 43), one of artist Edvard Munch’s last works.
Jasper Johns Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art NYC. Edvard Munch Photographed in the Met Breuer, NYC.