"YOU HAVE AN EYE," I've been told by artist friends. Not once, but many times.
But what 'having an eye' turns out to mean has nothing to do with my eye, or eyes. What the artist paying me the compliment is really saying is this:
I'm good at using language precisely, to describe not only in literal terms what I see; but also to express how what I see makes me feel and the associations that seeing a particular artwork or body of work prompts.
What has surprised me is how, often, what I describe is what the painter him/herself thinks or feels but has not found the words to convey. Though I have nothing concrete to support this view, I consider this facility of mine a kind of intuition.
That's how the short essay that is the next post came about. The need of the painter Robert Civello to see himself through an appraising eye he respected. To reveal himself to himself so as to present himself and his work to the world. To have his painter's work be the focus of a writer's work. To be, unabashedly, the subject. ###