Staring at art from the Tate's collection and thinking about it

Saturday, 23 February 2013

#4 - Sean Scully

Sean Scully, #4, 1992, aquatint on paper, 205 x 176mm, Tate.

Here we enter a solid month of Scully, as we work our way through the Heart of Darkness series.  Obviously it would be tempting just to round them up in one blog post, but if I did that, I would be drummed out of the Obsessive and Pointless Blog Project community.  And besides, the whole philosophy behind this blog is to find out what happens when you don't just rush on to the next thing, and instead simply look at the thing in front of you.

Although ostensibly an abstract, all I'm seeing is Mickey Mouse with square ears baring his bloody teeth.  Now, obviously this is a stupid thought, but again, I'm interested in where stupid thoughts that have no place in any other area of art writing can lead.  The Mickey Mouse thing is probably just me, but did Scully really not think that vertical red and white stripes wouldn't make the viewer think of teeth and blood?    And a it's an accompanying image to a novel, is a figurative reading really so dim?  Is this image meant to conjure up the spirit of Colonel Kurtz, perhaps?  Whatever the intention, whereas Scully's previous images in this series convey a sense of place, this very much gives me a sense that there's someone there, looking out.

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