Flirt

Helen Frankenthaler Flirt 2003

So I kissed the pastry chef at BarleySwine Friday night in front of a full table of friends. Some of whom didn’t know me too well.  Would it be soo cowardly of me to say a painting made me do it?  I guess I can’t blame Helen Frankenthaler for my indiscretion (at least from the viewpoint of my significant other).  If I were in France lets say, where such expressions of affection are par for the course, the kiss would simply be a continental gesture of thanks.

And, in my family we were taught to always “kiss the cook”. . . right?  The pastry chef was standing right there, next to me, leaning in. Right after I had devoured the last crumbs of strawberry shortcake with mini-meranges so smoothsweet like little sighs of angel breath. Giddy and high on a French Sauternes, lost in culinary oblivion, tripping down a dangerously hedonistic path.  When your body outruns your brain, and “swack” you’ve done it before your brain even knows.

This painting illustrates what happened in that instant, with its beautiful coral passion, pressing up against the thinnest linear blue. I rather think the conventional blue will be the loser in this contest. For lines will be crossed. The redround bouche in the bottom right corner, to me implies a coy kiss.

Frankenthaler is generally known as one of the first of the color field painters. She thinned out the paint, poured and dripped it right onto raw canvas, creating  intense colors charging around, yet embedded in the canvas. Many artists after seeing the freedom and allure of her work fell in love with the idea of color play as the only point to painting. This was the early 1950’s and Helen visited Jackson Pollack’s studio several times which also brought gestural vigor to her work.

After a bit of reflection, I think a hug just wouldn’t do in this situation. What is appropriate  thanks for a man whose life work is an homage to sugar? Only a sweet kiss.


4 Comments on “Flirt”

  1. SigO says:

    and people may ask, how does our garden grow? certainly not with silver bells, and cockle shells, and pretty maids all in a row, but instead with french sauternes, dangerous hedonism, culinary oblivion, witty literary prose, and much, much more than a simple sweet kiss…

  2. SigO says:

    as for the painting, the green bars seem out of place, rigid, intentional, not free form, contained, what is that?

  3. heatherit says:

    Well, green is opposite red on the color wheel and therefore the green may be “opposite” to whatever we decide the red implies. In my suggestion, a kiss, passion/emotion. Green then, may be reason, logic, the symbolic “line”. Notice however, how one green line bows to the more free form colors and loses some of its linearity in a circular green dot.

  4. SigO says:

    I took another look at this one, actually I’ve poked around and found myself here several times in the last week or so. Today, I look at this painting and my mouth waters! I taste ripe plums and peaches, how funny, how enjoyable. not saying I see those fruits, though the colors are there,. Instead I’m saying, the emotion evoked by this work is the same as the feeling I get when I eat a fresh peach picked at the most opportune time. smiles, shivers, goose bumps and a delightful experience of what was meant to be routine.


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