Saturday, October 3, 2009

Skin with Frank O'Hara poem, Jasper Johns, 1963

(text below via)

In this image, the artist’s handprints are set on either side of the composition. Running across the center is an imprint of the artist’s face, rolled across the image plane in order to capture the back, side, front, and side of his head, and obviously due to the functioning of imprinting, only the high areas of his face and head were printed, leaving the concave areas of the eyes and ears vacant. This, like his Study for "Skin" series, appears as if Johns placed the flayed high areas of his face onto the paper, a look achieved when he rubbed charcoal over the oiled pressings of his face and hands. In the case of O’Hara Poem, this look was obtained by preparing the lithography matrix to appear in this manner. Also like Study for "Skin" series, Johns printed this on drafting paper, so that there exists a pre-printed labeling area in the right bottom corner. On the right side of the print there is the inclusion of the poem "The Clouds Go Soft" from 1963, appearing roughly as thus [minus the indentions, can't get those here]:

the clouds go soft
change color and so many kinds
puff up, disperse
sink into the sea
the heavens go out of kilter
an insane remark greets
the monkey on the moon
in a season of wit
it is all demolished
or made fragrant
sputnik is only the word for "traveling companion"
here on earth
at 16 you weight 145 pounds and at 36
the shirts change, and less procession
but they are all neck 14 sleeve 33
and holes appear and are filled
the same holes anonymous
no more conversion; no more conversation
the sand inevitably seeks the eye
and it is the same eye

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


as it resembles something i notice (or imagine) in the mirror behind someone (not you, Miss <3)

What do the words dimly visible across the page say?