Los Angeles, Brian Bress’ RIDLEY TREE SLEEPER #2 (Nick and Brian), 2012
“Being conscious of the unconsciousness of life is the most ancient tax on intelligence” Ferdinando Pessoa
Rosanna Albertini about Sleeper.
The head was dozing not afraid to fall forwards she did not even have a body. She felt free without knowing from what, no expressions nor identity. Ten years, twenty minutes? Easy to pass over the words images do not care of time. The hand supporting the chin is completely unknown. Please don’t tickle I’m falling asleep.
It was a nobody’s face, quite heavy and very different from other hand-made faces of artworks in the artist’s studio, those covered by leftovers from stories they will not tell me. An orange peel, a bunch of feathers, a sort of tail modifying a nose, a piece of leather, they transform each face. Useless to try to recognize who’s underneath: maybe each face is a garden of wishes: as they materialize, grow, multiply, expand beyond the skin between two ears and a field of hair, their natural appearance gets lost, impossible to eat it and speak it out. Well for a time the inner life was resisting like a mule the artist’s hands trying to pull her out … she filled his fingers, instead, with flowers, legs of grasshopper, printed images all broken in pieces and myriads of cut outs. There was a moment he disappeared under their invasive attack, wore them as overalls.
Instead of excreting thoughts, the mask had expelled a crown of little heads, all alike, each with thick black hair and a flat face. He, she, it, who knows? There’s no natural air around her everything is painted canvas, the arms are human painted as well. Monet, Cezanne, Gauguin, along with many others of the same age provided colors and impressions. (The Santa Barbara Museum of Art wanted a piece of our present for the gallery of Impressionists.) And lady Earth offered the clay for the head. Art is made of donors.
“We like looking into the future because we should like, by wishing, to draw what is still fluid and shapeless in it towards us here to our advantage.” (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)
The artist handled all the presents he received from future and past and in the end was so tired he could only become a head lost in the fullness of time, looking at one image in his memory: an old lady sitting on the floor of his parents shop, dozing and falling asleep in not more than five minutes. “Grandmother, anima mia, don’t move, let me join you.” I’m quite sure she wouldn’t have seen her grandson’s dilemma as an artist, this time not wanting to perform his own score the diagram was lost and finally he let the artwork make him, and devouring him until he became a bunch of numbers: all in all, a high definition sleeper.
“Nothing so characterizes a man as what he finds ridiculous. We laugh when the elements of a moral discrepancy are brought home to our senses in a harmless way.” (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)