Dinner, a painting

Not long ago I delivered a painting to a client, who graciously asked for some words on what I had in mind when making the painting, and what was -if there was one- the subject (yes).
And as much as I am happy to explain my work and pleased when someone asks me to explain it, truth is, yet, writing about your own work is a difficult one, for many reasons, not the least because if you painted something is because it was the best way to express it, drawing the image in your mind and not writing and about it, since the very nature of both word and image is different.
The image is simultaneous, you can grasp it, literally, at a glance.
Text, on the contrary, is linear, successive, building sense trough sedimentary accumulation of words, sentences and more.
However, if we consider that writing about an image or drawing about a text is a futile attempt of recreation destined to failure, a translation betrayed by its own insecurities, then such an exercise gets to be for that very same reason, a creative endeavour, enriching the trail left by the object of inspiration/description.
For example, the low-quality prints of painting beyond the seas were many times the catalyser of my childhood and adolescence imagination, as I tried to fill the gaps in the images I got a hand on.
And this painting is the product of those fantastic experiences of incomplete revelations. Well, the painting is a vertical one, probably of 1,50 by 2 meters if I remember well.
It depicts five persons around a table, a scene I would call something of a Venetian dinner of postmodernity. Admittedly, that was the aim. This painting shows a group of persons seated. They have machines (telephones, clocks, tv sets, incorporated into their heads.
A character is like crowning a child with a TV set.
The inspiration for these machine-dressed characters come from some titles of some chapters of a book of Marshall McLuhan, "Understanding Media" (like for example, "the mechanical bride") which allured me with this mix of mechanical terms and poetic words.
Broadly said, Marshall Mc Luhan speaks in his work about the effect of new technologies in the life of our society. The creative style in which McLuhan writes and the suggestive allure of his articles' titles were more than enough to awake in me the idea of painting something, if not similar, something that has the same spirit.
Making meaning with words take a long time filling pages I a rational way, may it orally or written. It is there where the poetic element of language assume the risk to build shortcuts, contradictions and evocations, taking a leap over the normal pace of sense-making to build a call to action, an emotion, in the same spirit of the surrealism dissection table.
This poetic quality, however its name, is not a privilege of the rhythm or the verse, as also a text written in prose can have it.
How can you grasp this quality if you work in the realm of the visual image? As I remember, also this work is mainly about that, but also about climate change, with that pink, reddish, toxic background, and that masked person in the background.
It is about the effect of technology on our perception of reality.

The characters have the head wrapped in telephones, or the eyes closed or covered by goggles. It is building of a shell, a building of an interface.
Language is also an interface, that allows us to follow codes to communicate with others, with our reality. And the same can be said of everything that surrounds us, all the cultural artefacts around, they are in some way intermediaries, messengers, receptacles. Is reality as we perceive it? These artefacts are to me as well, representation of our failed efforts to acquire an absolute knowledge. Do we really know the things we know?
At this point, I will stop over interpreting my own work, as I could go far from where I started, completing the nonsense with an invented explanation, with a curated meaning, with an artificial handle to something that should be very fresh in its nature.
Because maybe art shouldn't have meaning, as maybe life does not have within the limits of human understanding; in that case, art exemplifies the paradox and stupor(?) that man himself feels against the absurdness of his understanding of life.
Design, by its part, well design is useful, practical, understandable and clear; design illustrates the very best man can do when given an Archimedean point of support, of technical, existential confidence. But in real life, the grit, the unreachable answer that is still within us. Maybe that is why art, in the end, should be decorative, functionally meaningless.