Friday, January 19, 2007

Let's Get Some Paint!

Sprinted to NYC and back earlier this week for an interview on the Joey Reynolds Show or WOR Radio 710, talking about my brilliant comix career, I suppose was the plan. Quite a ride, blasting out east and showing up at the WOR studios near Wall Street at 2 a.m, it’s sixteen degrees out. In for a few minutes with the resonant voice of Mr. Reynolds, then back into the sub freezing night, praying I can score a cab back to the hotel.

The highlight of my trip came the next day, as I visited the Museum of Modern Art—it was my first visit there since the Nineties, thus it was my first time in the new building. It’s spectacular. More of the collection is shown in a better space.

My brain was being happily crushed by the paintings on the fifth floor, four big Kandinsky’s making real inroads on my psyche, when I came upon a series of maybe four Cezanne landscapes. I’ve always loved Cezanne of course, but considered him a master who opened the door for the brilliance of Monet and the impressionists, of course Gauguin, but above all beloved Vincent, the beautiful tortured genius.

I saw Cezanne anew this time. He found a way to coax a profound truth out of his regimented yet diffuse brushstrokes. These landscapes reported accurately on the beauty of what Cezanne saw in the moment; the brushstrokes, angled and consistent, pull the world through the master’s senses and present it through the canvas. Of all the incredible stuff in MOMA, it was these few straightforward canvases from Cezanne that kicked my ass two days ago.

I’m gonna go out and buy me some goddamn paint (it’s been too long). Thank you Paul Cezanne for your warmth, your humanity, and your glorious chops.

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