Originally published in 1998 as » Daily Drawing Nr. 20


 Daily Drawing Nr. 20: 223, two heads in blue · © Copyright Werner Popken. <br><br>Alle Kunstwerke / all artwork © CC BY-SA
 

This painting is in oil on linen again - in the meantime I had met a painter some 20 years older than I urging me “to do something for eternity”. I bought the best light proof pigments then and made my colors like the medieval artisans myself ever since, saving money this way.

This is one of several paintings featuring two heads only. To be precise, they are mostly of different sex, expression and feelings of men and women being significantly different each. I won’t try to use words to open your eyes, this painting is easy enough. Just look and feel. Instead, I will tell a nice anecdote.

Once during the eighties, I showed paintings in a lawyer’s office. While I was hanging them on the office’s walls, one of the partners (whom I did not know) stepped into the room of the other partner saying: “What’s he up to? Not in my room, please!” I am told, but that’s all right with me. People don’t have to like my work. Weeks later, he went to his partner again, saying: “Listen, I understand he’ll show up again on time to get his paintings back. Now, if he does, we’ll throw him out!”

This was not the only time that I witnessed: People need time to get in touch with works of art. When I really showed up, he bought the painting above. I like it very much, too. It is really strong, quiet and powerful. I can’t tell what it is. But the power of the painting keeps growing. I can sense it even from this poor little digital image. Hey, I got an idea! Did you hear of Pablo, my new Journal (The Louvre Test)? I show two paintings each, which is very interesting. I just thought it would be fun to find a partner to this painting and test it’s strength. (Well, I could not help and really did it [Pablo 1.1a]! Beckmann’s painting is larger and the figures full sized, so it may not be the optimal pairing. Could be interesting to try others, too. But this will do for the moment to make the point.)

The dedication of Pablo tells another nice anecdote:

After World War II, Picasso was asked to donate some works to French museums. As a compensation, he was granted a confrontation of some of his paintings to works of his colleagues in the Louvre, on a day closed to the public. Only very few persons were present. In a kind of ceremony, his works were hung side by side with other works of his choice. Rarely did someone speak. Afterwards, Picasso is to have said: “C’est la même chose!”, i.e. it’s the same thing: He and the other masters were doing the same, despite of different styles and attitudes. (As I recall the biographical notes of Françoise Gilot, then related with Picasso.) To me, this confrontation of works of different masters was a very interesting experience I would like to share with you. Hence this enterprise is dedicated to Pablo Picasso.





Addendum to the original publication of 1998:

The scan of this painting is really bad. Look at  223 if you want to appreciate it. Also, I was forced to remove the Beckmann-reproduction due to the fierce agressiveness of the German artist’s royalties organisation, so the paring does not exist any more. Do it yourself, if you want to. You can find Beckmann’s work somewhere on the web.

My English is very bad as well. Obviously, I had not used it for quite a while. Well, it became better over the years.