Antecedents by Ralph Turturro, Mixed Media on Paper
30 x 22
Mixed Media on Paper
The ‘work’ in life as in painting is about the experience of the immediate moment, whatever that is, whether painting or having a conversation. Trusting that it’s all in there - memories, loss, love, hope… learning, discovering from each experience what more painting can be, who you are and where to go next.
Born in New York, 62 years ago, my two earliest memories are - first at 2 yrs. of age; I would pull all the detergents out from under the kitchen sink and make sculptured pies on the living room floor -the second is of a 4 yr. old boy standing alone in a long empty driveway, watching cats walk in and out of the backyard; the colors were: green - gray, warm black and a very intense Dutch yellow light.
That I would gravitate, as a painter, to the work of van Gogh, Kandinsky, Pollock, deKooning, Rothko, Twombly, Tapies is no mistake; in poetry to Poe, Neruda, Rilke, Stevens, Thomas, Ginsberg; they work from inside out.
In 1982 - I Interned with George McNeil, a New York School Painter, who was 80 years of age at the time and warned me of the dangers of being a painter. He said “...if there is anything else you could do to make a living go to it... because a painter’s life is not an easy one.” I didn’t listen too well to George - 31 years later painting still remains my sole way to communicate those extremely personal, ineffable, subtle nuances of thought and emotion that have no life for me except for on a textured, colored surface.
To make ‘Art’ a real thing in your life, you must learn to be in the moment of each experience, whether physical, mental, emotional or otherworldly. When the logos are brought to bear, when you are alone in the studio and you have done your homework, (lived your life) it is at once terrifying as it is exhilarating. Making art in many ways is like making your children - you have little or nothing to do with it, though you will still have to take the credit or the blame. Conception is out of your hands. But oh how glorious it is to ‘see’ your child being born, growing before your eyes. As Matisse said “...not he but the Postman had painted “The Pink Onions”.