‘The first approval comes in this form,
this is so good you would not know it was done by a woman.’
Pain is the absence of colour,
it is shreds of self-esteem flung on the studio floor,
overlooking a barn full of privilege
a figure of addict love - equal parts liquor,
Before you pick up scraps of your self-diagnosed mediocrity
scrape a palette knife, make a plaster
through texture, remind us to feel as well as to look.
the canvas will tell you what it needs.
I stand and peep through the darkness, see a biographical struggle for light,
leader of the misfits,
You pick people up the same way you pick up fragments of yourself,
make them new,
Sketch bodies as instruments, heads pin pricks lost
Did you feel the same way when they said you lied about your self portraits?
I see the enduring shadow each time you dressed yourself in canvas,
you made them see you
It was intentional? To leave only parts of yourself,
the rest you burned.
I imagine you deemed them not good enough to leave behind.
So many works untitled.
Did you wonder if naming things would make them fail?
Did you wonder if naming things would make them less worthy?
Did your name change make you more visible?
Did your propaganda win?
Did you judge yourself as they judged you for being a woman or were you brutal?
There was no life outside of paint
Paint was the only way to breathe