• A Psychic Linguini a la Graham Gillmore
  • A Psychic Linguini a la Graham Gillmore

I think painting is a great vehicle for primal, scatological urges and infantile obsessions. It’s about making marks on a surface, which is one of the most basic things you can do.

Graham Gillmore

Recipe for:
a Psychic Linguini a la Graham Gillmore

a provisional sampler - the idea for which was stolen from Geoffrey Young (the figures)

- Find a huge Masonite panel.

- Install it against the wall of your Brooklyn studio.

- Select a bunch of images, pages from Harlequin romances, porn magazines, literature (for example Oscar Wilde or Choderlos de Laclos), as well as your own journal and musings and sheet music from popular songs that you yourself have written. Your choices should be personal, even autobiographical, but still talk about collective issues. If your father was an accountant, find pages from an old ledger book, the same kind you used to draw on when you were a kid. If you used to read Methods in the Art of Taxidermy, choose some of the morbid but very carefully rendered images from it. If you are interested in fake relationships like arranged marriages, find a catalogue of Eastern Europe mail-order brides and cut out the photographs, names and their captions.

- Take all the material you have collected and glue it onto the Masonite. The way the collage will be put together should tend to reflect your eclectic personality. If you have a chaotic spirit, the assemblage may appear chaotic as well.

- Keep it spontaneous.

- Apply flashy oil or acrylic colors in big blobs and drips like if it had been raining on the canvas for days. It will remind you of the Canadian weather.

It’s now time to add some words and sentences to your composition.

- Use an electric router, or maybe some chisels to begin inscribing the surface with your rants.

- Don’t forget to choose them based on their meaning as much as for their physical aspects. Avoid classical presentation. You don’t need to write from left to right and from top to bottom. Confuse your future viewer by organizing words in several directions. Make the viewer participate in figuring out your texts.

- Choose or create sentences about human relations and personal communication. Think about the relationships you have with people. Don’t forget that they have always failed, particularly your love affairs. Write that down. Your knight in shining armor…my spineless walking jellyfish…

Do you think communicating is an easy thing? Do you think it is easy to say what you really want to say?
Express that difficulty through the inherent confusion of the English language, or in whatever your native
tongue may be.

clean closet…shoot shrink…burn bridge…close case…

- Accumulate signs and elements to represent the massive amount of information which swallows us. Are you confused? You seem to be getting closer to the elusive gestalt of life.

- Create an illogical logic in a mellifluous mess. Choose a violent color, burgundy for example, to write about lustful feelings and a colder one, like cerulean, to illustrate your idiosyncratic vagaries. Draw lines between the words to help the viewer’s comprehension. Those who want to delve more deeply into the work should be able to discern fractured sentences.

- As with comics, put your words inside thought bubbles. Your hand must shake a little to avoid making
perfect lines. Perfection is not part of our reality.

- Take a rest. Mix yourself a Caipirinha.

- Party all night. Follow your desires. Most importantly, refuse to get bored: boredom is only for the boring. Meet as many people as you can out in the City. Join them. Visit their homes. Disappear at times. Come back, your head full of images and feelings.

- When you return to earth, organize your upcoming shows. Don’t be nervous. Like always, they will be great. Think about Linc’s exhibition in San Francisco. http://www.lincart.com. The presentation, the works and the gallery crew…everything was perfect. Remember Kenny Schacter’s Gallery in New York. http://www.rovetv.net/. Between Vito Acconci’s new design for the gallery space and Kenny’s sheer enthusiasm…the show really shined.

- Go back to your studio. Put the heater on. Brooklyn winters are cold.

- Spread the piece with gleaming varnishes. It will look like an old-fashioned oil painting but made with new chemical products, such as Varathane and Galkyd.

- Wait several hours until it is completely dry.

- Look! Eroticism has invaded the surface of your painting. The colored patterns you have drawn resemble female genitalia, with fallopian tubes and ovaries. Everything seems to evolve, nothing is static. You have made a moving, living creation.

- Try to get a few hours sleep…the art movers are coming first thing in the morning to pick up your new works!


— aude de bourbon is a freelance journalist who lives in Paris.