The Top 100 started as a hobby; a fan adoring his musical heroes and paying tribute by making portraits of them. The hobby became obsession and the project went from the boy’s room into the art world. But I'm still that fan, it's about them in the end, their music, and not about me.
Monday, August 25, 2014
10.5" x 8.5", oil on wood, 2014
I don't know how many times I've painted a portrait of Cat Power, it must be up to thirty by now with only half of that, at best, living up to my self imposed standard of quality. This image, taken from the cover of Moon Pix, I've painted four times, this one I believe is the most interesting of them. One day I'll show all Cat Power portraits together with all the writings accompanying those paintings. I think it would make a nice exhibit, dedicated to this one "celebrity" as an ultimate expression of fan-ness. I never met Cat Power. I contacted her once, attempting to meet after a concert, but to no avail. The closest proximity of me meeting Cat Power, besides from being at the front row of a concert, is in this book called You Should Have Heard Just What I've Seen, in which both my work, and the Moon Pix cover are featured. The Moon Pix cover is a work by renowned photographer Roe Ethridge.
The painting reproduced here must be attached to the Moby Grape cover Naked if I Want to, the third Cat Power song in the list from her 2000 The Cover Album release, as both Metal Heart (from the Moon Pix album), and Names have already been designated. On my mind however, as I painted this today, were the lyrics to song Names, and to some of the commentaries on YouTube I read while listening to the song just yesterday night. One thing I never noticed before in the lyrics is that there is a pause after the line "Her father came to her in the night." It's a rather shivering pause at that, but the one comment that affected me the most was by a listener who added another verse to the lyrics: "Her name was Imogen. Her momma died when she was 16. She was so sad she was nothing but grief. I hope one day she'll come back to us." I can only assume that this is the commenter's autobiographical anecdote. Heartbreaking!
Note on the painting: The purple background is an outline of Sly Stone's afro in a painting that I abandoned (and started anew—see previous post).