Art Vent

Letting the Fresh Air In


October 18, 2007 - 2:57pm -- Carol Diehl
You know Damien Hirst’s “painting” that has a surface of dead flies? Well obviously he got the idea from sneaking into my studio at night, because it’s fly heaven here. Before I built the studio, when it was a dark uninsulated attic that the previous owners never entered except for the purpose of adding to The Biggest Pile of Stuff No One Would Ever Want, the fly population was dense. I assumed that after the renovation the insects would be so blinded by the bright white of the sheetrocked walls that they'd be unable to procreate. But no-o-o-o, autumn came around again and suddenly they’re everywhere. At first I had a “live and let live” attitude toward them, but lately I’ve gotten aggressive and am putting my orange Philippe Starck fly swatter (probably the only thing you can buy at Moss for $13) to the test. It reminds me of my friend, Coco, from whom I rented a bug-filled cottage for many years, who used to say, “I start out the summer Albert Schweitzer and end it Genghis Khan.”


Flies are more attracted to green and yellow ....esp a bright cool yellow like Hansa. In fact, the fly tape is made in this yellow color! I once was working on an underpainting of all yellow --- while at the UCROSS foundation in Wyoming. I accidentally left the light on all night and in the end I spent an entire day sanding away the largest collection of tiny flies ever collected.

People say that it is the wind that made VanGogh crazy, but I think bugs in the paint probably had a lot to do with it too.

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