Ephemeral Art — The Painted Body
Our Kitsilano home in Vancouver isn’t only decorated with my photographs (mostly of our children and grandchildren) but it is also peppered with art done by others. I have a few colaboraciones with Nora Patrich and Juan Manuel Sánchez. These combine sections of my photographs “finished” by the two Argentine masters. I also have one piece (exclusively just Sánchez) that he did for me on demand a few months before he died when I visited him in April 2016.
I do not have any of his large or even medium sized canvases. Sánchez was prolific so I would be able to obtain some work from Patrich.
In the last few days I have given this some thought and I was suddenly hit by the enormity of having several of Sanchez’s and Patrich’s works that they considered to be ephemeral.
There are many examples of body painting. Most of it does not please me. It is sort of the 21stcentury version of Elvis painted on velvet. Malcolm Parry, the gossip columnist of the Vancouver Sun is routinely able to post photographs of youngish women wearing only body paint. Our newspaper is either avant-garde or there seems to be some sort of unwritten rule that painted nipples and stuff in the “Lower Countries”, if partially hidden by distracting paint, it is Kosher.
Sánchez and Patrich did not just body paint. They painted their subjects to be the very art they filled their canvases with. Patrich told me these body paintings were ephemeral because soon after finishing the subjects would remove the paint.
But what happens to the images that I have on film? Are they some sort of replica?
A photograph of well-known piece of sculpture is invariably identified as the work of the sculptor. What do I have here?
Originally published at blog.alexwaterhousehayward.com.