Saturday, November 3, 2012
Don Bachardy, UNTITLED V
Acrylic on paper
Bachardy usually works in acrylic paint because it dries fast which he think suits his quick working style. Though it doesn’t allow any mistakes, he enjoys starting with the color. He mentioned about his particular style of work; ‘I start right in with the color. Really, my style of working is very much related to my subject matter. I always work from life and because of that I learned to be spontaneous and to trust my first instinct. Because, you see, I can't waste time. I'm always working under a time pressure. I sometimes feel my whole style as an artist has evolved under those conditions of time and pressure.’ Reading this, I could know new meaning of a portrait. It doesn’t only capture the person’s look but also contains the process of communication.
One of the reasons why he does portraits is that he can always be someone while he is working. He considers the process of painting people as a way of communicating with them. By making a “conscious and unconscious effort to identify with them”, he experiences selflessness because he concentrates thoroughly on the models and identifies with them. He says he loves the moment when he forgets to be himself during his work.
Christopher Isherwood, the novelist and Bachardy’s life-long partner, was the painter’s first live model from 1953 until he died in 1986. Most of Bachardy’s widely known works are of Isherwood who was painted in various moods that only the partner who lived with him for a long time could picture. What I love most about this painting is bold strokes of the brush. Though it is bold, I think it still depicts Isherwood’s subtle personality well.