Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Just got back from a painting class with my friend Sekai, where I did the above (& below) -- an acrylic interpretation of my prose poem "Fix" (seen here, in the Evergreen Review). "Fix" is included in my recent collection Passenger Flight, and here, fittingly enough, the text is affixed into the painting. This is the first of a series (I have two others, but they need a few touches to complete).

So, what do we call these: ekphrastic paintings? Usually ekphrasis is applied to texts that take after works of visual art, but according to this Wikepedia definition, it can be the other way around (i.e. a painting of a literary heroine, or even a painting of a sculpture). Here, though, the poems are included in the paintings that interpret them.

My friend Allen Sutterfield has a nice term, "text-visuals". His own "T-V series" consists of hundreds of poems paired with visual images that play off them in some way -- mostly magazine cut-outs, collages, photographs.

Whatever they be, I'd like to do a series of eight or ten, maybe put on a show somewhere. Or have them on display at a reading.

Beyond that, I have no painterly aspirations. With a bare minimum of technique, all I bring is raw sensibility to the canvas. But there you are.


Anonymous said...

I think that's pretty awesome. And I love the poem. There are few 'fixes' so expensive, either. haha

Brian Campbell said...

Thanks, Kieth. Looking at the painting now, the image seems so strong I wonder if the text isn't a sort of intrusion -- that it couldn't go under a painting, rather than be a part of it. Oh well. In the other paintings, the texts are better integrated into the composition. All part of the journey.