All those abstract paintings have voluminous  commentaries to their vacuous creations so I will have one as well.

Here it is:



                            Stumbling and groping, by some subterranean guidance at last I arrived at  resolution to paint my own surroundings, the South. Once the revelation unfurled itself I saw an endless realm of sights, situations, rituals, actions and inactions, all being parts of a certain totality. I do not intend to proffer an ideology through my work on the Southern themes but rather provide a panopticon of images showing the South. Loving rather than fervor of an idea demanding to be agreed with motivates it. Nothing, I hope will be shown in these works as neutral, the way that the metallic reptile of the camera brings us an image. To paint the land one can hardly remain hidden in the studio. Project like that calls for learning the skills of painting outdoors. The swiftly changing light and shadow conditions, heat, humidity, glare, wind, cold, gawkers, insects," no trespassing" signs, dogs, inquisitive property owners, portage: all manners of difficulties to be overcome and enjoyed in overcoming. There is urgency attendant with the subject: the South is a disappearing country. Yes: the world I am painting now is being removed, rolled away, and rubbed out with an eraser as big as Sherman's army of bulldozers. The South is removed every working hour and replaced with generic anonymity. Soon there will not be such place as the South. In its stead we are getting nightmarish happiness of Global Nowhere. I can't stop those fascists of profit, neither can you. All I should do, as always is to paint it before it will be gone and yet stay; in my "Face of the South".

                       I know vaguely of caricature of the South the comedians use to force laughter by spitting venom. I love the Land I live in, so my paintings are born of loving, not of jeering. Certain irremovable tendencies lead me to places and sights never seen by the tourist busy with his camera or an irremediably practical person who sees the world only as a backdrop for his projects.

                      I find the South in the cotton stubblefield dotted with thorny chinaberry seedlings showing their yellow planets., or among the predeluvial cars overgrown with kudzu  and on nameless islands on the river, so silent about their secrets. Month after month I painted an abandoned homestead held together by a grapevine, collapsed floor of an ancient porch with sounds of a rocking chair still in the air and the stuffing of an arm-chair reaching out imploringly for the rheumy absent sitter. Then I would see the touching altar of a rusty fridge [of which they say “gone feral”] and some parts of baby booster seat in the middle of a forest, or a gloomy congregation of mailboxes vomiting Publishing Clearing House million dollar certificates. Sitting and watching, sitting and painting is a meditative occupation where much of what unobtrusively perdures becomes an epistemic musings about what this reality consists of. Then the process of painting leaves the aesthetics behind and is increasingly about worshipful observations, one by one inserted into the painting to honor the proud individuation of all objects in view. That task obviously is infinite. The important thing is to force yourself into accepting one day that it is time for signing the painting, before your friends will find you a year later behind some burnt house incoherent and mad, muttering about infinity of individuation.


Henryk Michael Fantazos

Hillsborough,North Carolina.     

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