On Friday I went down to the National Gallery of Art and man I came home in a funk. Usually, I come back super charged up and wildly inspired and just ready to get back into the studio, but Friday was not one of those days. I went down to have lunch with my friend Michelle and after lunch we walked through the Philip Guston show that just opened. I had never heard of Guston before and seeing his work was a very dramatic experience. So much so that after Michelle had leave to get back to work, I ended up going through the show again and taking a little more time on some of the pieces that really resonated with me the first time through. Before you enter the actual show, there’s a short video playing on a loop that gives a little background on Guston’s life—specifically his childhood as a Jewish immigrant in California, where the persecution of Jews and Blacks by the KKK caused massive trauma that would stay with him for the rest of his life and feature heavily in his art. On top of that, three days after his tenth birthday, his father hanged himself in the shed outside their house and Guston was the one who discovered the body. As a means of processing his childhood trauma, he taught himself to draw and at 14, he started to paint.
National Gallery of Art
Philip Guston Now
Philip Guston - Wikipedia
The Guston Foundation
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