A musing on black holes (inspired by Harris Johnson's work)

Harris Johnson’s painting Black Hole (2015) addresses the bizarre scientific concept of the same name, a concept that is strange and fraught with existential paradox. Calling something a “hole” implies that it is an empty space; a void, a vacuum, an absence. And to our human eyes, that’s what black holes look like: they’re black, empty circles; they are points in the sky where the stars have been erased and nothing is left behind to see. But scientifically speaking, that understanding is patently false.

unspecifically pissed off

Harris Johnson’s American Ramble is a stream-of-consciousness text painting directly on the gallery wall. As you read it, a growing sense of anxiety takes over, a kind of tidal wave of boredom, violence, and hopelessness. And yet, in league with Johnson’s other work, it also manages to somehow be funny. Not “funny Ha-Ha” but terribly funny: satirical, flippant, and sharp.

Self-Portrait (1983)

I really can’t get How to Remain Human artist Mary Ann Aitken's Self-Portrait (1983) out of my mind. The artist floats in a rough black field, a turbulent void. She wears her red painting robe, donned in the studio to protect her clothes from paint. In the painting, it protects her from the void. Compact and raw, her features are indistinct (two merged, bluish dots, a glob of dirty blonde) but her presence and energy are strongly felt.


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