Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Why Are the Ghost Hippopotami Hiding Behind Jesus?

I paint fantasy landscapes, which I call scenes from Planet Arupa. The last time I hung a few at an art opening, someone pointed at one of them and said, "What are you saying with that one?" This question emptied my mind completely of all thought - the end point of Buddhist practice! Finally I said, "Nothing."

Paintings are supposed to say something? I thought that making paintings say something was the job of art critics at the New Yorker. There will be a photograph of an enormous white canvas with a small red dot in the middle, accompanied by three pages of: "Never before has the ontological vortex delineating the cusp of neo-modern pragmatism, as foreshadowed by Nietzche and, perhaps, Emerson, been so boldly presented as in..."

I always figured I'm just not smart enough to do paintings that mean something. So I asked Freeman if it was necessary for a painting to mean something. He said, "Well, that's part of it." He even admitted that he will face a blank piece of paper and think, "What do I want to say?" This I have never done. He then said that a painting should tell a story, even if it is a simple story.

So I looked at my painting of Jesus and a large dog watching an Angel who is standing on a hill that is being climbed by little guys with blue hair. Three small ghost hippopatami are standing behind Jesus, peering around His robe. What does this painting say?

Jesus is all over the place these days. He is even helping the New York Knicks (of St. Lin) and the Denver Brocos (St. Tebow) win games. He is backing all the Republican candidates for President! So why should He not be in my painting directing traffic? The ghost hippopatami are tagging along from the Big Game Preserve in the Sky that shelters all the extinct and endangered species that have left this world. The giant dog is there because, due to translation error, the line "Father, Son and Holy Canine" never made it into the Bible. Dogs are Love and Love is Spirit, Amen, Amen. Jesus, the ghost hippopatami, and the Holy Canine are watching the Angel in case she needs help (angels are so very busy these days) and the little blue-haired guys are senior citizens attempting to migrate to Canada before they turn 70, after which point the Canadian government will reject them. Since Jesus is backing candidates who want to do away with Social Security, watching over them is the least He can do.

That is what I am saying.

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