I’m selling my paintings. Some want the Jews, some the ‘women who know things,’ some the math, and some the readers. I keep the infinities for myself as they are dangerous in the wrong hands, and I don’t want to end up being cursed for ruining people’s lives.

As I popularize the news of my new-found luck on Facebook – people actually pay me heavy money for the stuff, and swear that I have it as a painter – I think of some of the comments. Not long ago, an art critic and a painter of caliber himself made the comment that while my work manifests too much brain power, it’s lucky that I’m at the same time “sensual, exciting, and creative,” which shines through the intelligence. The reference was also meant to cover the cross between my visual and my writerly endeavor, as some of the paintings are accompanied by textual fragments. I said nothing of what the premise for assuming that I’m “too smart” might be, as the same critic did me the favor of being quite on top of what’s going on in my work, thus showing acute perceptiveness. And I like that. As he put it, the paintings exhibit a rigor of rigid precision, of ‘cutting to the bone’, and of tight consistency, though not in a way that puts the act of reducing thought to a bare essential on a cliché track, but quite the contrary. It makes the statement that going for the authentic crisis rather than the inauthentic cliché is worth the while and always preferable. I can live with such comments that can identify what elements precisely in my aesthetic projects have the potential to rise above the tension in the opposition between the drama of learning about the limits of your experience through the complexity of assessing pain and the frivolous learning through merry-go-round cognitive models à la ‘change your attitude and you’ll see an effect… why? – because I said so… errr, what’s the argument? – beh, there’s none, but it worked for the Harvard business boys, so, ah, ok, thanks, here’s a sack of money for nothing.’

Today I explained to a friend of mine, a political theorist and an activist, who made the comment: “Charmant. Adorable! "Women who know things," that there’s more to it than that. I quote myself below:

"In that category 'Women who know things' I'm trying to counter the stupid assumption that when 'men know things', they are geniuses, and we accept that. When women 'know things' they are 'too smart for their own good,' and we don't accept that. We pity them, wrongly assuming that they are missing out on things, or else we either fear them, or we assume that the manifestation of brain power is a manifestation of women's desire to merely get laid. I mean, really! Logically speaking, isn't it so that if you are 'too smart', you're probably also smart enough to know quite precisely and already what you're missing and what you aren't? Lord have mercy....”

Her reply:





I like that. It makes its own quiet statement. Wittgenstein as a woman who is not sorry if it’s stupidity she’s missing out on.


Popular Posts