Goya on Garbage

Courtyard in front of AIR Vallauris

 

Last spring I spent several weeks as an artist-in-residence at A.I.R. Vallauris in the south of France. Before going I had two notions about how I wanted to use my time. One was that I wanted to experiment, respond to the moment and not plan everything out. The other thought was that I wanted to look at Goya’s paintings and see if there was a way I could distil their essence into something abstract. I had not thought that I would do these two things together.

Goya on Garbage: The Dog

The last time I was a resident at A.I.R Vallauris in 2008, I left a box of materials, so I decided not to take any materials with me and to just make do. When I opened the box I had plenty of paint, some brushes, and several pieces of 300 lb Fabriano watercolor paper. But what really excited me, was the box itself. It sat in a dry shed for eight years. The cardboard was soft and no longer had much structural strength. One side was white. I tore off one of the flaps and started painting.

Since Goya was already on my mind, I started by loosely painting one of his portraits with black ink. Then I switched to oil paint. The soft cardboard yielded under my brush. The un-even torn edges made a beautiful deckle around the piece. When I painted Goya’s, “The Dog” I liked how the creases in the cardboard interacted with the image.

All the pieces are small, averaging 4 inches x 2 inches. In the end, I branched out to include the back of a tuna box and a crushed can that I found in a parking lot.

 

 

Goya on Garbage: Maja on the Can

 

goya-0n-garbage-tuna-box-leslieparke-72

 

goya-on-garbage-1-72

 

goya-on-garbage-3-leslieparke-72

 

Goya on Garbage

 

Goya on Garbage

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Eight years ago I spent seven weeks as an artist-in-residence at AIR Vallauris, which is walking distance to the Mediterranean in southern France. This spring I returned to Vallauris with two projects in mind one in painting and one in photography.  

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