Man Guarding Textiles
Man Guarding Textiles
Danziger, Fred F.
American, born 1946
Acrylic on canvas
50 1/4 x 54 3/8 inches
Wichita Art Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William A. McMinn
Currently on Display
About the Artwork
I can tell you it is Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa which, the very name fills me with awe! The textiles are things I bought from a local fabric store, but were intended to be colorful, like so many African textiles you see… and I think the yardstick is the key visual element in the painting as far as establishing a sense of “space” with its shadow. I was very interested in establishing the illusion of a pane of glass holding back the pile of fabrics and the yardstick helps make that effect more tangible, I think…
As far as what I was “saying”… there is a story involved: I went to New York and saw an exhibit by Joseph Beuys at the Guggenheim Museum, I think… in the exhibit there were typical works by him and one was a lump of lard on a platform… next to the lard was a museum guard making sure no one touched the lard!
So I thought a painting called “Man Guarding a Lump of Lard” would make for an interesting piece, sort of jumping one layer of reference out from the Beuys piece… One of the other pieces was a pile of sweaters, I believe… So as I mulled it over, it transposed into man guarding textiles… the use of Africa as an element came from a sense of basic human evolution somehow… not really sure why it came out that way, … textiles, Africa, a man (represented by a “cardboard” figure) guarding something so basic as fabric… they all seemed to “fit” in my mind…I had used the illusion of cardboard and plywood people in many paintings…to create a kind of diorama effect. My interest in pure “illusion” made me think a cardboard figure could be more “still” and illusory, helping to create a contemplative moment of “time being stopped” within the painting…
I hope this helps… I think as an artist, I had also just simply wanted to paint a “fabric still life” for some time… I love the complexity of such things! So this was a good way to put a simple still life that has been done a thousand times, into a new situation…