secret lives.

Left to right: Yves Klein, Éponge (SE251), 1961, and Éponge (SE180), 1957; resin with pigment on sponge; Collection SFMOMA, bequest of Phyllis Wattis; © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris 

Mark Bradford, Pinocchio Is On Fire (installation view), 2010; multimedia

Today has been a day of reflection for me after finding a music video by Gotye featuring the singer Kimbra called Somebody I Used to Know that has been a bit of a crossover pop sensation. It is dream-like, a painting that uses voices and bodies of the singers, and it made me think of the narratives that inhabit the paintings and sculptures that I see while working at SFMOMA. Artwork that I have a privilege of seeing before the morning crowds and sometimes alone at night in dark silence while I turn on/off the media art works. Questions arise: Did the artist create this painting because he or she was madly in love or grieving? Or, more broadly, whom did they make this work for? I reel in little fantasies that are sparked by the color of a subject’s hair, the heaviness of Mark Bradford’s newsprint installation Pinocchio Is On Fire on the fourth floor, and the acid blue of the Yves Klein sculptures on the fifth floor. When I see Klein’s blue sea sponges I imagine Klein in bliss bathing a beautiful lover, both of them in a synchronized hallucinatory euphoria after making love. The International Klein Blue cools off the passion that I project onto the work, facilitating a reflection on their forms floating in midair, taunting me with their secret lives.

I want to share with you this private moment, a kind of permission to project a love story or narrative on art that you happen to see today.

Gotye’s Somebody That I Used to Know

Comments (1)

  • Isn’t always about our bleeding or healing heARTs? Art is just that a song, I paint as words with color. A stroke, as my intention, the subject is the world I see while processing my emotions.
    “Somebody I Use to Know”, tells my story. It was one of many
    soundtrack song to my last two paintings. Except I didn’t cut him up:–!
    I gave him names like. “You”, and “He”, two paintings for his namesakes.
    I still know him , but I guess I once was in love with someone, or an illusion of who I thought was “The Somebody I Use to Know”, thanks Goyte.
    I like this article , insightful
    Carole J Artist McCoy @Cjthefineartist Tweet

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