Networked Painting


170108 Fallen Earring (2017) oil on canvas 61 x 62.5cm

The phrase “networked painting” is from David Joselit’s article about painting in this age of social networks / social media.

Last week I made this painting (above) and wrote a looooong neurotic post about it, obsessing about my colour-blindness and the rights-and-wrongs of how to represent women. Then I took the post down because it was too much. But I also tweeted the picture. I’m glad I did because….


… last night that tweet got a “like” from New York Magazine critic Jerry Saltz. I get a kick out of this because I really like his writing, and when I started painting last year I used to listen to his lectures and interviews on YouTube while I worked. He also wrote a great article about painting-without-copying-from-photography, making an inspiring case for drawing and invention. I find it weird and exciting to know that his eyes landed on my wonky paintings, even for a second. Social media = not all bad.

He also “liked” this tweet (below). So today I’m smiling like this painting.



2 thoughts on “Networked Painting

  1. I thought I was commenting on a post called Two steps forward etc. but when I go to make my comments I can’t seem to stop them appearing at the bottom of your post Networked Painting!!! never mind. Anyway, regarding Two steps forward etc. :-

    (1) Why paint an awkwardly posed, grotesquely distorted stereotype of female sexuality? Is it meant to be funny? Sexy? Ironic? Banal?

    who cares? The painting comes from your drawing and you often describe that process in glowing terms, bring to my mind that it is an inherent and reflexive impulse. This leave me gasping and (virtuously) envious. It might profit you to do a Freudian x-ray to see why you do this. But for this viewer, it is less interesting. It is not difficult to recall any number of fine paintings where human form has been distorted and “looks” odd. As to the meaning of this, how long is a piece of string? If the creation has been unconscious, but you are still compelled to paint it in ignorance of its wellspring, then just concentrate on painting it well – as you’ve observed some of your reference artists – Currin and Yuskavage do. And clearly you are practising your painting and hoping that you will achieve something like the ease of execution you find in drawing. This might be something you mindfully find contentment in. For the moment.

    I wouldn’t be interested in going to deeply into your being queer being the cause of any inadequacies in your ability to paint female nudes. This kind of representation is not rare. It is stylised and draws on many references,well understood. Even if you aren’t conscious your meaning in painting in this style, It doesn’t necessarily out you as genetically unable to paint female nudes. You could just as easily paint a male in the same vein. (that you might also be able to draw and paint a male nude realistically and fabulously and even pornographically doesn’t negate this). If you drew or painted a man this way, it probably wouldn’t be horny for you either and accurate realisation of genitalia wouldn’t be relevant in such a style.

    (2) Why are her skin tones uneven?

    The skin tones are not uneven to me in any way different to the tones in the Dana Shutz painting. Your experiment with the filter just doesn’t help me at all in looking at your question. I’m inclined to think you are seeing greater problems than really exist with colour. I’ve said before that you’ve nailed colour. Here the skin to me looks “healthy” and the toning doesn’t jar at all. Your instincts are completely right about the (very slight) green tinges. As to there being more pink/red in the limbs, this doesn’t make the skin look awful – it is shading, and hasn’t anywhere near the prominence shown in the photo of the filtered image.

    you’re right about Cezanne-ness in the floor.

    fuck you did a long post. Chuckling because your uncertainty and questioning seemed to suggest you were a little unsettled. That can only be a good thing and chuckling is because you are mostly so cool, self aware and analytical haha!


    • Yes, I was pretty unsettled when I wrote the Two Steps Forward post, so I changed it to the Networked Painting post. I’m surprised you can still access the Two Steps Forward post, but I’ve really enjoyed reading your responses to it. The matter of gender doesn’t worry me so much as interest me, but the colour issues are just a big pain in the ass. I’m really glad that you don’t see a problem in the way I use colour, but without seeing for myself I can never be sure. I’m considering going back to painting in black and white, just to avoid this issue, but I really prefer colour. :-/


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