what's beneath "beneath" ....
What’s in a name…
Giving paintings titles ain’t easy, and I used to get around it by sticking with the facts: “3 red flowers,” “27 trees,” “osterville,” …..
But now I’m in the habit of using phrases from the music I listen (and sing loudly) to while in the process: “she smiles pretty,” “last time I saw him,” “given to fly,” …..
But this one particular piece has a pretty great back story that I found myself repeating several times this past month, so why don’t I just get it down on paper.
I paint on wood panels and an artist friend of mine (who may or may not be an ex-boyfriend) started making his own, meticulously hand-crafted panels. He would cover them in Belgian linen, then apply many layers of gesso that were sanded to a super smooth finish. Then, of course, paint on them.
As an alumnus of the SMFA (School of the Museum of Fine Arts, ) he was awarded the prestigious Traveling Scholar’s award, which landed him a show in Boston’s MFA. In it, he included 4 large, 5 feet square minimalist pieces.
Not long after the exhibit was over he asked me if I wanted some panels. Never interested in the commercial side of art, he was beginning to become less and less interested in “being an artist” and gave up painting entirely not long after.
I said of course I wanted the panels.
A few days later I arrived at my studio to find a couple of large panels leaning up against my door with a note from him on them.
But these “panels” were actually 2 of his MFA paintings.
He didn’t want them anymore.
Just like that.
I told him I could never paint over his museum pieces, but he was completely indifferent.
They sat in my studio for months, until I eventually got the nerve to mark one with paint.
And so guess why this painting is called “beneath” …..
p.s. I still have the other one ;)
p.ss. if you’re interested in more of the stories behind my paintings and their titles follow my intern @art_by_patriciabusso on Instagram – she dedicates a post or two each week to some interesting behind-the-scenes tidbits.