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The Worst Perversion

In His Bold Gaze My Ruin Is Writ Large

The Right Man And The Wrong Woman

Getting Daddy Do It for You

4/sometimes murder


Interview with
Jane Hammond

Interview with
David Salle


Interview with David Salle


Josefina Ayerza

Salle image

To be on the road of perversion, but not quite there...
Who do you think is watching, who is watching you when you move through the painting?
Eyes... someone is not a body anymore, someone is only a pair of glaring eyes. They come right out, but if you see yourself seen before time, you lose the game.
You think, you are looking at the painting and you realize, it's looking at you...
It stole your eyes.
It's lovely.
I like it.

Beauties asleep wait for princes to come and awaken them. On tables, inside sheets, in boats, their childhood story figures itself out: he'll lean over, kiss her.
She dreams, she's immaculate, infinite, perfectly powerless. He knows she's been waiting. She isn't there where she is, he loves her...
A body caught in a gaze, she's that shape... made for him.
A word caught in her gut, she's a sound... made of her.
Her light doesn't come from above, doesn't fall, doesn't strike, doesn't go through; rather it tears her open, spreads her apart: She sleeps endless erotic dreams... in pain?
If she weren't sleeping he wouldn't look for her.
His light bathes her breasts, arms, belly; his shadow clouds her sex, legs. She'll awake and see him.

It feels like a net, it catches you, and it's hard to get out...
He invents the eyes. She invents the sound. He invents the looking. She invents...


Excerpts of a conversation with the artist

Salle image About the bananas, is this a new image or is it me that hasn't seen the bananas before?
I used it before but not much, I used it in one painting about ten years ago, so it is a little bit familiar and a little bit new...
So it is the return of the bananas...
The return, that is right, things return. I've been doing this long enough so that things can come back after a ten year hiatus, but of course as to why they come back I have no idea...
Did you see that the case is the banana and the banner...BR> You mean because they both begin with the letter "b?"
Well, banana, banner, it is nearly the same word I would say...
It is the same word, sometimes people say bananners, but it is not a linguistic connection, the connections are visual, not linguistic... that figure of speech is just a figure of speech... whatever the painting is, it's all on the surface, it's all visible, there is really nothing that matters that is not visible.
What is the other image, is it just material, what is it?
It is actually a figure, a person, underneath a sheet or a blanket...
A blanket...?
It takes on a character of either a ghost or a puppet or a monster or a cat in a bag, a way to drown cats. The glasses are a painting within a painting, it is often a good idea to have another painting inside of a painting, as a reiteration. The glass that you see is a painting of a glass that is in the background of the frame ... a classical reciprocity between things and paintings of things. The only important thing is the painting making you feel something... making one, the viewer, feel something and in this case the viewer is me...
So what do you feel?
Feeling it and saying it are two different things, it is not so easy to say what it is...
What are they, these things beneath the blanket, the cats?
Well, there are people underneath the blanket. What I said was an image; the cat in the bag is in fact two things, it is a linguistic image, it is a figure, you know... to let the cat out of the bag, it is also an image of how people would drown cats that were unwanted, they would put the cats in the bag and then throw the bag in the river...
Is that image, the bag, sort of drawing a feminine sex or am I inventing it?
It has that, that is definitely part of it... It is you but it is also something that is there. Isn't it the case that when you have those feelings, someone says, 'I don't know if this is just me or dot dot dot' that those are things that everybody more or less notices or is also thinking? That has been my experience.


Still you kept the bananas and the blankets that were there ten years ago, I don't know about the banners...
Although I don't use the linguistic part , that doesn't mean it is not there, it does not mean that it isn't a perfectly OK way to approach the painting, or approach the images, but if it's there, for me if it's there, it's very subliminal. The name of the object, the name of the image isn't something I'm consciously working with. I'm working with the appearance of it. Now maybe that is the same as the name, but I don't hear the name when I'm working.
I don't think the name of the object meets its appearance, not at all, names, that is words, meet each other's appearance, and they play games... funny games...
The clearest way I can say it, is that the images that I use are all images which you can see through. They have a transparency, or they have openings they have a filigree, they have a space you can pass through. Painting is really space, it's a specific colored space no matter what is in it or not in it. Although it's hard to believe it's still something that people do, it's so old, what could we possibly have in common with those people in the 15th century? It's such a strangely, archaic thing, the answer may have something to do with the reason it doesn't ever go away... It's that the ordering of things, events, inside this rectangle is , it is one of the very good metaphors for life. Just because the technology is so old-fashioned it has not changed the appropriateness of the metaphor: a white rectangle is still about ordering things in that space, it's creating a space that somehow has the ability to be like a life exercise, it's a playing field, that is all I have...


Illustrations: David Salle, The Bigger Credenza, oil, acrylic, and fabric on canvas, 1985, and Lively Iris, oil and silkscreen ink on canvas, 1992.

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