dancing to the end of poverty
Text about the project
When I first started making paintings, it seemed confusing that the high quality paints, the paints that are considered most “real” were made from pigments in the ground. It was a level of reality that seemed unnecessarily limiting, especially if you don’t have very much money and don’t like to mix colours. I thought a little bit about the colours we couldn’t see, and also wasn’t entirely convinced that the primary colours were actually primary. Now, though, I like so much that the colours in my paintings come from the ground. It seems of course a more tangible sort of reality than even the realism of representational paintings. I see it less like a limited palette and more like the only palette I could know, living on this earth, and the palette that I could get the most honest answers from.
I remember first going to Youtube when it had just started. The first thing I looked up was “whales”. I really had a craving to look at some whales. And like everyone else, I went on from there. It all looked so much to me like a palette, just like the “real” high quality palette of pigments you get from the ground that I was at first so suspicious of. After years, as a painter, of thinking about small human gestures, I was able to see a bigger portion of that rainbow, completely undirected by me, and completely of our world.
My friend Ryan Kamstra read a book by Jeffrey Sachs called the End of Poverty. Then he wrote a song called end of poverty. One of the lines starts, You struggled so hard for a petty theft of affection / only to find / you’re totally ordinary. That line, and everything else about the song, prompted me to try out this new palette of ordinary human gestures. I focussed on basement hues and teenagers.- Margaux Williamson