Leef Evans

I have no political agenda. I have no historical perspective. I have no social ramifications I’m seeking to address. What I do have is lots of paint and a fat brush. The fat brush and brash gobs of paint don’t permit me to fret or obsess. The fat brush doesn’t allow me to wallow in incidental detail. The fat gobs don’t permit me to remain in one place and burrow into concerns. I move on. I allow for accidents. I revel in movement. I paint accidental psalms. This is what the art does. It moves me into little fugue vortexes. The art, the paint, the brush is the only process.

I enjoy the manifestation of the arbitrary. I enjoy collecting images for no other reason than that they visually please me. I enjoy translating these images onto canvas or panel for no other reason than the physical act of painting. I have no desire to engage in a political dialogue or partake in any message. I am a disciple only to the aesthetics of the image I am transcribing.

I have nothing, per se, against concept art. When it is well done it is magnificent. It is only that I have no attraction toward doing it. I enjoy Matisse and Diebenkorn and Calder. I revel in the spectacle of the decorative, the glorification of a stroke of light that makes the mundane magnificent. This is all I really want to do. I have already written my manifestos. They have no business in my paint.

God, I’m such a gassy blowhard! All that might be so, but, Jesus, get off the box! The trouble with being an artist is you’re surrounded by artists and you have nobody with a filter around you ready to tell you to “shut up!” to tell you to soft-pedal it a bit and stop sounding like a community-house theatre Polonius… more to come, I guess, when I’m a little less fatuous.

I have to paint or I’ll die. That’s not hyperbole. It sounds like hyperbole. It sounds patently pathetic and it is. All the same, it’s true. So… a hundred paintings. Why not? Why not? Hmmm. I don’t want to depict the “wracked cathedral of my soul.” The maelstrom cacophony of shame and ruin that spits on my skinny fire. No sturm. No drang. I want something beautiful and all the corn that “beauty” entails in the current lexicon. I involve myself in the image of the thing without the thing itself. I don’t see the thing as thing but rather as the shape of thing, the colour of thing.

Next. There is so many things to say. And so many things not to say… it seems I seem to be saying the latter and not saying the former. But I’ll roll on. My life is a comma. I am a comma. A rest between thoughts… not even that. A small breath. Brood. Brood. Brood. There is evidence to suggest that if I complete this project it will represent a significant moment in my life as an artist. Maybe I’ll write some thing on each piece. Maybe a written depiction is the point of it all. A Hundred Somethings. Something ‘poignant’ hah! Something both fickle and essential. Something Gargantuan. Something Pentagruel. I will write on the ossification of the visual medium; how the gross surfeit of imagery exhausts our capacity to locate the splendour of the singular exquisite. I will write on the god-awful monster jaw-breaker ‘aesthetic lexicon’ that bruises us with rough words and academic emery monograms on Kline’s brass black or the towering edifice of Warhol’s misogyny; and how the words are black and slippery and embrace the masks, not the spectacles. I will write noxious reams of sound to burn your ears and salt your eyes and exhume vestiges of beautiful beautiful memories from the oblongata of your liver. I will write puppet-show Faustus and sandwich-board Brecht. I will write in the foul hope that someone cares and then weep like a sideshow princess in a tower of cardboard. I will write soft brutal canticles on the eggplant nothingness that exists in the aubergineness of genius. I will write on each painting as a hole in the school of one hundred paintings. I will write on the hole and where the edges are and where they aren’t and if the edges are edges and the holes holes. I will write about shape and how it lies. I will write about colour and how it lies. I will write about composition and how it lies. I will write about lies and how they are everything and how everything is a meme for something else and the haecittus in empty space is the great white metaphor that swallows us all. I will write of teeth and shadow, of grey tile and pity, of burlap and eggshells. I will write ‘cabbage’ and mean it. I will write nothing but ellipses till god passes out. I will write about the artifice of 90 degrees, the cruelty in the open eye, the failure of the penumbra. I will write words pressed so hard together they become anthracite. I will tell you I am blind even tho I am not and I will tell you I am deaf tho I am not and I will tell you other lies that may be true. I will write of broken teeth and arms and the sad misery of rage. I will write of hatred of empty space. I will write of hatred of white space. I will write of hatred of generalities and self. I will tell you I am sour like a rosehip and bitter like a rosehip and rosehip like a broken promise. I will write of something ‘cored’ from me and tossed with the coffee grounds and dead flowers. I will write in numbers til my phone rings ‘halleluiah” I will write in eponymous hieroglyphs til I run out of ‘y’s and plinths. I will write bracing, salty salutations and cuff the sun upside its ear when it rises over the Coastals. I will write of the pathetic rack of words that sweat from my poor mouth like cheeky tears. I will write of the beauty of asphalt and the nuance in cinders. How the creak of interpretation fouls the meaning of brush strokes. How the gong of ‘meaning’ tangles in the haystack and the thread of thought is lost in it’s linear fascism. I will write a small poem on thoughtlessnessness and a trilogy on the aesthetics of wear. I will write on the pervasiveness of pervasiveness, how every curb is both straight and round and lovely and drab. I will write on the lovely and drab, how everything is lovely and drab, how every pyramid is a button in a can the more our memory wears on it… and how it is more lovely for its lost consequence. I will write on lost consequence and how it is everything. Gab gab gab. I will write letters to lost lovers telling them they are not so lost as softer. I will write about the juggernaut of criticism and its dumbshow-bunting and same-old-shit oratory; how the grimace of need feeds the vicious. I will write of viciousness and seizure, calumny and oil, saturnalia and boxed wine. I will write of things outside of things; how that is the apse of any aesthetic. I don’t know when I stopped looking at the thing going by and began looking at the lack of thing, I don’t know how Absence became my deity and the eddy in its wake, my Church. I just know it is my biography.