What Painting Ought to Be

Experiencing the Poetics of Painting Audrey Flack from a talk with Robert Slutzky February 20, 1985

There is a distinction between those artists who produce marketable images, and then produce variations for that market, and those who have resisted market pressures. One stops the flow, while the other allows growth to take place. This process of growing occurs during a total involvement in the creative act. You are not just producing images, but provoking and being provoked by those images. You get involved in a metaphoric revelation, and witness metaphors emerging from the work.

The energy output in your body slows down and your fingertips cool as you contemplate your own production–a dialogue between you and your work; a total retinal involvement–until you become mesmerized and see all kinds of presences in the work.

This is the essence of the act of painting and what painting ought to be about. The ultimate achievement is a transference of that revelation from private to public.

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