Arthur Bannister (played by Gilles Deleuze)
Oil on Canvas
48 X 72 inches
2008
 
I actually knew nothing about the origin of the photographed portrait of Deleuze, which ironically is the main reason I decided to use it. I found the image online and saw that at least 30 personal or online community ‘philosophy blogs’ had used the portrait image. Odder still was that each time the image appeared it lacked any specific information about the photographer, when it was taken, or any circumstances surrounding it, suggesting that it was taken/borrowed/stolen from one site to reappear on another, and again on another, ad infinitum, just like the repetition of images in the mirror maze. On blog after blog, the image was simply used with the heading ‘Gilles Deleuze’, as if the complexity of the image coincided precisely with the identity of Deleuze, but ironically the image seemed only to portray how ‘bloggers’ felt Deleuze would best be ‘portrayed’. I found it strange and fascinating, that the source moment or occasion, and Deleuze himself, had seemingly slipped away (like a broken reflection) and thought immediately that this lack of reference, this lack of context, this lack of any notion of precise ‘time’ or ‘motivation’ was exactly the reason I had to use it. Barthes speaks in his essay Myth Today about images containing subjective meaning that transcend original context, that myth is subjectively created after the initial function of language/image recognition. What hadn’t been lost about the image was that it remained a photographic portrait of Deleuze, and in Wellesian fashion, the image seemed contrived and overdetermined in its 'mise-en-abyme' composition, and its function in portraying a "complex" persona. In regard to my painting of Deleuze in which I imagine him ‘posing’ as Arthur Bannister, and Deleuze’s own writings about Orson Welles and the mirror maze scene from The Lady from Shanghai, I found it very fitting that the image would be mythologized, distorted, and Deleuze’s identity lost this time to simulacrum. Of course the image falls quite easily into the mythology surrounding Welles’s mirror maze scene, in which identity is erased through multiplication. The scene, as well as the Deleuze portrait, posits identity versus repetition, and seems to bookend both Muybridge’s obsession with capturing the authenticity of time and movement with Warhol’s desire to capture an emptiness through repetition, through the act of repeating images of celebrities, car crashes, electric chairs, soup cans; it’s clear that this repetition had an intimate relationship to the desire for immortality, while ironically signifying death as well.
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Oil on Canvas
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<div>
48 X 72 inches <br />
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<div>
2008 
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&nbsp;
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<div align="justify">
I actually knew nothing about the origin of the photographed portrait of Deleuze, which
ironically is the main reason I decided to use it. I found the image
online and saw that at least 30 personal or online community
&lsquo;philosophy blogs&rsquo; had used the portrait image. Odder still was that
each time the image appeared it lacked any speci&#64257;c information about
the photographer, when it was taken, or any circumstances surrounding
it, suggesting that it was taken/borrowed/stolen from one site to
reappear on another, and again on another, ad in&#64257;nitum, just like the
repetition of images in the mirror maze. On blog after blog, the image
was simply used with the heading &lsquo;Gilles Deleuze&rsquo;, as if the complexity
of the image coincided precisely with the identity of Deleuze, but
ironically the image seemed only to portray how &lsquo;bloggers&rsquo; felt Deleuze
would best be &lsquo;portrayed&rsquo;. I found it strange and fascinating, that the
source moment or occasion, and Deleuze himself, had seemingly slipped
away (like a broken re&#64258;ection) and thought immediately that this lack
of reference, this lack of context, this lack of any notion of precise
&lsquo;time&rsquo; or &lsquo;motivation&rsquo; was exactly the reason I had to use it. Barthes
speaks in his essay Myth Today about images containing subjective
meaning that transcend original context, that myth is subjectively
created after the initial function of language/image recognition. What
hadn&rsquo;t been lost about the image was that it remained a photographic
portrait of Deleuze, and in Wellesian fashion, the image seemed
contrived and overdetermined in its 'mise-en-abyme' composition, and its function in portraying a &quot;complex&quot; persona. In regard to my painting of
Deleuze in which I imagine him &lsquo;posing&rsquo; as Arthur Bannister, and
Deleuze&rsquo;s own writings about Orson Welles and the mirror maze scene
from The Lady from Shanghai, I found it very &#64257;tting that the image
would be mythologized, distorted, and Deleuze&rsquo;s identity lost this time
to simulacrum. Of course the image falls quite easily into the
mythology surrounding Welles&rsquo;s mirror maze scene, in which identity is
erased through multiplication. The scene, as well as the Deleuze
portrait, posits identity versus repetition, and seems to bookend both
Muybridge&rsquo;s obsession with capturing the authenticity of time and
movement with Warhol&rsquo;s desire to capture an emptiness through
repetition, through the act of repeating images of celebrities, car
crashes, electric chairs, soup cans; it&rsquo;s clear that this repetition
had an intimate relationship to the desire for immortality, while
ironically signifying death as well.
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