Daisies Never Tell
There was an article by Jordan Kantor in the November 2004 issue of ARTFORUM called “The Tuymans Effect”. It named “…distinctively crude rendering, his chalky palette and limited chromatic range, his use of photographic and filmic sources and cropping techniques…” as some characteristics of the artist’s work and subsequently the work of some of his admirers.
I can see the influences in this the piece titled Daisies Never Tell. I see Tuymans of course and Marlene Dumas. In the installation approach I recognize Karen Kilimnick and Elizabeth Peyton. There is nothing wrong with building a vocabulary based on the work of established professionals. But I also believe that in every artist is the capacity for unique solutions and a voice that can be attributed to none other than the artist.
A writer and friend I admire very much once said, regarding influence—and I’m definitely paraphrasing here––to copy the writer you admire, to follow him to the edge of the pier and then push him in.
An artist I met only once but had a wonderful conversation with had moved from Istambul to New York. She said something like, as an artist you must leave your family. Then, she clarified that you did not have to become estranged. You just needed to get far enough to escape their expectations and limitations.
So I am thinking about parentage, not biologically but creatively. There were moments in this piece I started to see the distinctive voice of the artist. There were those odd and interesting canvases with rope pictograms. There was a small sort of aqua-colored portrait. Clearly the artist can paint. Then there were several canvases that were difficult to invest myself in because I felt that the artist was not truly invested in them. This artist, I guessed, is more sincere, more complex, and more unique in her perspective than some of the paintings indicate.
I imagined that the creative parents of this artist say, Wilhelm Sasnal and Kaye Donachie (sharing Luc Tuymans as a recent ancestor), were present in the gallery. I wanted to approach them politely, thank them for all they have done and, on behalf of the artist, show them to the end of the pier.