Whoa boy, Roy LichtensteinSunday, June 30th, 2019
[ by Charles Cameron — from comix-pop to painting paint to a swirling portrait of complexity, aka tohu=bohu ]
Whoa boy, I had no idea Roy Lichtenstein ever painted anything like this:
I knew, of course, that he’d painted blown-up mersions of comic frames:
But that’s too easily “cool” to impress me much. Far more interesting is his painting of painting:
He’s still doing a blow-up, in this case even more extreme than in his comic-book blow up Whaam, above — but this time it’s self-conscious, a painter taking paint for his subject, a serpent biting its own tail you might say, an exemplary ouroboros.
And in the course of my quick search for Lichtenstein images, I also found this, which interests me as, potentially, an image of multiple musical voices intersecting and separating — a strange, wave-like form of polyphony:
This in turn reminds me of the “wavy music” in Reynolds Stone‘s bookplate for my aunt Esther:
But to return to that first image:
That’s an astonishing image of tohu-bohu, the “formless and void” just before creation as envisaged in Genesis. And here’s my point:
This image is both patterned (with formal properties) and abstract (formless), as befits that great mirror in which all forms arise and fade away, and thus a superb image for complexity, which is both patterned like overlapping waves, and swirling beyond our comprehension..
Here’s R Cromb‘s version of tohu-bohu:
And that of the Nuremberg Chronicle, 1493:
Ah, for a breath of theology hovering above the waters, see Catherine Keller & a theology of chaos, Part 1 and, no doubt, Catherine Keller, The Face of the Deep: A Theology of Becoming.