Photo Credit: Jennie Anne Benigas



May 2011

Every first brush stroke is an ambitious gesture, then at some point something goes wrong, and the thing ends up in the trash. This is both an exercise and a recovery of that original ambition.

“Modern Paintings 1999-2000 - Pavel Buchler,”
New York Times, Arts & Leisure, 4-10-11


Hello, It’s Me

Dear Reader,

Imagine my surprise when I opened the Sunday Times arts section and saw what could have passed as a painting from my “Landscape Mosaic” series [Judy’s Journals, 2008 May, June, August].

Before I Leave Landscape Mosaic XX
Before I Leave Landscape Mosaic XX

Because of copyright laws, I will not insert the image of Pavel Buchler’s collage, but if you can Google him and see the exhibit named above, please do.

Once I got over the shock of recognition caused by the striking similarities of design and color in his piece, I considered a couple of questions. I had already seen the similarities, but what were the differences?

For one, Pavel Buchler is a famous conceptual artist, and I am not. Also, his medium for this series is collage made up of bits and pieces of “rejected paintings” on paper made by other artists. His reason for doing this is in the opening quotation. My series is made up of thickly-painted designs that mimic pottery shards made into mosaics, but the more I thought about this, it became a similarity.

Most importantly, our impulse to make these series seemed to be shared. The discarded paintings, cut up and glued, resemble the broken pottery reused to make mosaic-covered structures in Parc G üell in Barcelona. My “Landscape Mosaic” series was inspired by the dozens of forms in the park, and the “fragments” in my hands became a new piece of art, just as the bits of paper became new in Buchler’s hands.

Finally, what could this conjunction between two works of art mean? We did not appropriate each other’s painting. Here is how I see it. Buchler and I are two artists who have greeted each other across parallel universes: “Hello, it’s me!” we have said to each other. “We have made something similar from the same creative impulse.” It is another cause for joy because we are artists!