Drawing on Unexpected Changes

Waiting and Dozing and Moving and Dozing
Ball Point Pen on Paper, 8.5×5.5″


I was drawing this woman at the eye doctor before the dilation solution in my eyes took effect. She was as antsy. She coped by alternately dozing and shifting the position of her right arm. Between snatches of near sleep she would alternately clasp her left hand or prop her head against her fist. I had already drawn her hand in one position when she moved into her other position. So I drew it again. That’s why she has three arms.

How else does one draw and acknowledge such changes and the passage of time? Picasso’s cubism provided a means for doing that. He really did acknowledge the passage of time by representing people and things from many points of view. It was a new metaphor for representation. Since the Renaissance the metaphor was that an image was to be a window looking out onto another world at a single, still moment in time. With Picasso, image became a flat object with snatches of the subject represented all at the same time. He was very influential.

The practitioners of Futurism took Picasso’s cue and ran with it. His multiple, simultaneous mode of representing the world suited their glorifications of the machine age, speed, and violence. They reveled in the continuous motion and energy of the modern industrial age. 

They had a dark side. They were part of a nihilist fringe who longed for a “cleansing” war. (That ethos was present all over Europe and in the United States.) They were irredeemable misogynists. Some were Fascists. 

Well they got their war. Most were killed during World War One.

April 1, 2014