Walk the line

Ian Davenport, Puddle Painting Titanium White, 2009

Ian Davenport, Puddle Painting Titanium White, 2009

Lines. Some make them, some break them, some don’t. But I’ve never cared much for lines and I cross them daily with great aplomb. Maybe, I’m line dyslexic.

Some people tighten up about lines- where you stand in them. Who you are in front of who you are behind of. In Europe and lots of other places, they don’t do lines, they just mob to the front of the taxi stand or KFC counter (yes I was in a KFC in Paris – total chaos) and the person who’s most aggressive gets there first. Man vs. man – very Darwinian those non-Americans.

All kinds of lines surround me, both real and imagined. Lines on the road, social status lines, what’s-my-line? lines. Invisible divisions of power, battle lines drawn in the conference room. Bottom Lines. Finish Lines. Punch Lines.

Lines that move a blue dot on the GPS, to get you where your going. Relationship lines that flatly declare, “don’t cross that line!” Davey Crockett lines to step across, mustering your bravest commitment. Sign here on this line – see the sticky note flags?

That’s why I love these Ian Davenport paintings, with colors marching single-file straight (done with a syringe I gather). For all their precision, the colors appear severally random. Which explains line-making in life I think. Often a rule pops up out of profit motive or because too many people do something too objectionable. So the lines flow downhill, ad hoc.

Suddenly, they pool and streaky puddle at the bottom. An adrenaline-rushed place,  a color collider. The result of canvas tipping and the power of gravity and chance -swirling anticipation and whorling change. Anything’s possible.  I am a line puddler and this is how I see.

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