I recently retrieved some of my extra paintings from the gallery I’m affiliated with because I may be able to hang some works in another venue and one that I brought home I had kind of forgotten about. It was very unlike my other works.
How it came into being: On November 13, 2015, I was sitting at home when news of the bombing in Paris started trickling in. I was so angry and upset. I went to the easel. I had a background painted, and I began painting small circles radiating out from one corner. But instead of relaxing me, I just got angrier, and ended up painting large swooshes and swashes across the canvas. And I wrote a poem on the back.
When I saw it again recently, I was struck by how it was really my first IC work, the first time I explicitly expressed the subject matter behind a painting and let it stand for my voice. And just then a couple of days later, the bombing at Manchester happened. I’ve never been to Paris, but I’ve traveled in England, and I’ve been in the station right next to that venue, and things like that make you feel weird, and make the world seem small, and make the need to cause love even greater.
The painting is titled: 13.XI.15 pour Antoine LEIRIS et son fils
The poem on the back:
they may destroy the night but the dawn will come,
and in the morning, all day, every day, we must not fear.
we must love.
and may we forever insult them with our joy.