This of course is something that galleries detest. Well, it's something they don't particularly associate with figurative painters at least. It shows (to them) that I'm not really worried about creating a recognizable image, an image that may be associated with my name. And I kind of have to admit they're right. While I'm painting, the last thing on my mind is having to subject what I have to say to what I've said previously.
The other day I was reading a book edited by David Evans, Appropriation, a concept I'm very much drawn towards. I felt somewhat relieved when I read a Richard Prince interview with Peter Halley, where Halley was asking Prince why some of his rephotographing of images seemed to have a different approach. Prince's response really hit close to home.
Halley You don´t feel like you're assigning each work, as well as yourself, a role?
Prince It's not that worked out. It's more like I'm conducting an affair or relationship. Each set of pictures has different considerations. In order to produce the effect of what the original picture imagines, you have to play the picture, you can't play yourself.
I guess all of this is a preface to put in context the changes that this painting endured. One of my biggest fears is to find myself painting just to finish a painting. And when I'm referring to finishing something I'm alluding to a technical aspect, a stylistic choice. There were things in this particular image that while I thought were well painted (at least as well as I can paint them), they just felt bland. Like I was in auto-pilot. And I absolutely hate that feeling. If a painter is detached from what he or she is painting, the viewer is going to recognize that immediately.
So I painted, and repainted, and while it looks overworked, it's not a bad overworked. I'm able to exhale and feel comfortable when I'm next to the painting. And there's nothing quite like the feeling of being honestly content with something... when I don't like something I simply can't function properly.
So fuck style. I'll do whatever needs to be done to satisfy the needs the image requires.