So during an artist's talk I gave about my work earlier this week, I was asked why my newest paintings were "so brown." I dribbled out some junk about how my paintings change depending on the seasons and that the limited palette reflects my current mood or something, then I just kind of trailed off until someone else managed to change the subject. Both of those answers were sort of true to an extent, though, but I've been thinking about that question a lot.
Maybe I have to just admit that brown is my favorite color. I imagine it turns people off because saying "brown" aloud immediately conjures images of feces, dried blood, DMVs, or Jeffrey Dahmer's tinted glasses and that dopey look on his dumb face. That's at least what I picture at first, but maybe that's what I appreciate about it the most: it requires you to think beyond poo-poo and dirty boogers, and gives you coffee, syrup, chocolate, Autumn, bread, soil, the Mississippi, fur, hair, skin, and eyes. It brings out other colors and gives them more richness and meaning. Well, as far as I'm concerned. Maybe to everyone else, it just makes everything look drab.
But anyway, yeah. I think browns are showing up more in my work because it seems to fit with my worldview these days. (It reminds me that I should start thinking about writing up a new statement.) This whole "Undeniable Decline of America" thing has been getting to me. My paintings have always dealt with the Apocalypse/apocalypses in one way or another, either making fun of peoples' fear of it to rolling around in the weird "romance" of it, but now that I'm getting older and more sensitive to entropy, it's starting to look like my new work is trying to deal with the inevitability of it. My skies are getting rustier and my landscapes are getting scabbier. My characters' eyes- once all crazy and bulging- are getting deeper and darker. Even the Sun in this world seems like it's dimming, as it's getting harder and harder to tell if my narratives are taking place in the day or night.
I know I'm a bummer, but at least apocalypses can't exist without survivors, right?