The internet has become an eternal shore for moving images of all kinds. A nimble search with creative keywords will almost always reveal compelling films and television episodes washing up in the hightidewhitenoise. Recently, we’ve been turning up a number of great art videos as well.
Quite by accident we just stumbled across this gem by Paul McCarthy. Here’s what Frieze Magazine has to say about “The Painter”:
The Painter (1995) is a brilliant interrogation of the senility and late paintings of Willem de Kooning, complete with collectors and dealers puppet-mastering around him. It’s a video deploying, as so many of his videos do, the mise-en-scène of instructional television (from the Galloping Gourmet to Martha Stewart), but one in which the painter mumbles and cries: ‘You can’t do it anymore you can’t do it anymore.’ And later: ‘I can’t do this anymore.’ He means painting, he means art-making, he may mean life. At the end of The Painter the artist gets up on a table, pulls down his pants and a collector with a protuberant fake nose sniffs at his bare arse, McCarthy’s own.
Next to David Lynch’s own words on the subject, I don’t know if I’ve seen a more compelling externalization of the artist’s interior process than McCarthy’s.
Joe Nolan <3