Seductive and Irritating
Last night, seated in the far back of an assembly at Winston Wächter Fine Art, I considered the relationship between artists Susan Dory and Brian Murphy. My wine-soaked conclusion: none. Brian works in watercolor and paper, Susan in acrylic and canvas. Brian’s subject is figurative, Susan’s is abstract. Brian’s is intimate, revealing, uncomfortable, and challenging. Susan’s is, on all counts, the opposite.
Brian described his work as the product of being drawn to subjects both “seductive and irritating.” I thought that pretty accurately described the event. Although he was graceful and sensitive to all the questions, he didn’t seem comfortable in the spotlight, and mentioned that the reason he’s a visual artist is so that he doesn’t have to talk.
I selfishly wished the focus were on him, and we could hear his thoughts on body image, on the celebration of the uncomfortable, on the quiet but confrontational nature of his work. Instead I was bored senseless by the back & forth, the dense verbosity, the circuitous art-speak.
On my way out (mid-lecture) I intentionally caught Brian’s eye, and gave him my best, most meaningful look of conspiratorial support. I tried to make my eyes say “I suspect you’re just as miserable as I am, and you would also leave if you could.”