New York - Person, Irwin Klein

This portrait shows many aspects of a person and gets beyond appearances. It is based on Irwin Klein. (See an alternative set of pages with proportional graphic and black text on white background that reads and prints easier. See also a study, study 2, and study 3 in watercolor.)

It is an oil painting on linen canvas, 18" wide x 83" tall. To see details, scroll up and down a large size or much larger version of the painting. Let's look over the whole thing and then focus on the personality, specifically the faces.

The painting is a landscape of the person.

In the foreground, he enters from the crystal clear light down right. He takes off his shoes somewhere over the rainbow and steps into the rain. (See the half of a bare foot sole to the left.)

In the middle ground, from left to right he leaves the downpour, comes out of his ordinary street clothes (plaid jacket, blue shirt, t-shirt, and jeans). He reveals his larger than life self, where he walks among clouds, dreamlike and exposed.

In the background are his expressions. See close up of faces on another page.


On the dreamer face I painted a flower bouquet to him, for his act, his brief hour upon the stage, his fine performance that still lingers. bookThe book relates to the orchid reader-dreamer-artist-lover-flower face, coming out of the crystal and clouds body, the aura or dematerialized body. This guy is inner.

candle moonThe naked green guy has the ordinary face that the crazy black night moon candle pushes to look back. He smiles with that poetic license look, with all his intents and complex awareness. The smile is warm and welcoming yet musing on the contradictions, the ironies, the tragicomedy of it all. He might be thinking, 'You thought I was fine, huh, well look at this. But you thought I flipped out, huh, well, think again. It's all more than you think, more than you know or will ever know.' This is the guy that left academe for photography, that left the hippie commune because he didn't want to be a farmer, who fathered kids but whose marriage crumbled, who put together wonderful photographic books, moving forward on the path. Also he's the fun, creative, imaginative, and also intellectual, competent, flexible, smart guy.

madmysticIn the clock is the sad pale-skinned guy with the pale foot and hand. The last step is up and out. The hand lingers like the hand at the end of the backward swing when walking. Almost flung. And the mad mystic guy lurks. The madness in skin color related to pale sad. The mystic in blue related to the background, the ground, the unknowable tantalizing all. See them as part of the sad-in-time and mad-in-mysticism self. Remnants.

The chocolate donut is a favorite food, fragmented like the selves. Half there. Inner void. Center void. One bite. Donut, the whole is more than the sum of its parts. The hole is more than the some of its parts. The soul is more than its whereabouts. The end becomes the beginning as in Finnegan's Wake. In 2009 seeing the donut as car tires as Irwin's zen Enzo symbol of zero and all and camera lens with nothing in it.

About the rainbows. One under shoes in my favorite colors, without the reds and oranges. They pop up under the shirt arm in a smaller, concentrated, overarched rainbow. The arc repeats the arc of the rib cage in green and the green hill under stars in the blue shirt. The heels are grounded in the white light. But we are seeing the prism split into the component parts, the colors of the rainbow and the aspects of person's personality.

The round blue spinning symbol at the top maybe relates to the dreamer? So, candle/ordinary, clock mad/sad, and symbol/dreamer? The symbol is the dynamic trinity. The trefoil might be a Buddhist symbol. Looks like the wind, fan, turning, and three aspects. In 2009 discovered it might be a tuning screen or bald spot.

This painting is from the mid-sixties. Interesting that the clock hand is at the hour of 7. For 70s? Interesting that the self seems to be blended with the environment.

See an alternative page with proportional graphic and black text on white background that reads and prints better. See additional tangential thoughts about the publishing of this work. Back to New York Art page.

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© 2003, 2008, 2009 Caroling. All rights reserved. Page created: 2003-12-22. Last modified: 2009-07-23