I recently finished my first asemic work in colour. True to its spirit of metamorphosis, it went through many titles, & conceptions. In the end I’ve called it Afternoon of a Tweet: Fantasia Upon a Text by Donald Trump. I’m playing on Mallarmé’s L’aprés-midi d’un faune of course, & Debussy’s Prelude to it, which perversely enough came after.
My text is a tweet in which Trump defends his obscene & criminal family separation policy. The page becomes a wide bright river of hungry ghosts, apostolic patriarchs, enraged fertility goddesses, spooky mind bugs & children stranded & bereft. The images, made by rocking handwritten journal pages on a scanner, rely on pareidolia, the tendency to see faces & forms in abstract patterns, to take shape.
On the title page, a brow a bump & a bump make Someone’s face in profile, & a row of overlapping columns, pinched at the right spot, makes a crowd, its shoulders jostling.
Why red black & blue. Notwithstanding what I say on the final panel (just below) the colours came first – those were the Sharpies I had on hand – & the reasons later.
But they were reasons I learned as I worked had been building in me for a while.
When I saw the invitation to Tweet my reply, I thought, Oh yes, friend bird, I will.
I write more about making the images here. Here are two more of them. Their base phrases are both anagrams of “sinister purposes,” a phrase taken from the tweet.
Mallarmé & Debussy, those 2 had a faun they could pull some Classical balance & elegance thru, wherein to frame the lascivious peregrinations of their protagonist. I, like you, have been stuck with Donald Trump, a figure shall we say without proportion. So the results are often comical, grotesque.
I admit I worry I might be thought to have made light of evil tho I don’t feel I have.
And to being a bit queasy at having made things beautiful out of ugliness.
I mean to mock & condemn, console with bitter laughter, rouse indignation.