Idiosyncrasy: Philip Guston in 2012

At the Observer, art critic Laura Cumming pairs the top ten New Year’s resolutions with art work. My favorite is number ten, Stop Procrastinating, which features Painting, Smoking, Eating by Philip Guston from Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum. A self-portrait, Guston lies awake smoking, with a plate of fries balanced on his chest, and, in the background, stacks of shoes loom (symbolizing his unfinished work) and brushes soak.  Apparently, at this point in his life, excessive eating and a three-pack-a-day cigarette habit were affecting his health. That Guston made such personal yet powerful paintings about existential worry is something to think about this year.

Best wishes to everyone for a productive and painterly 2012.

Philip Guston, Painting, Smoking, Eating, 1973, oil on canvas, 197 x 263 cm


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