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Omphaloskepsis Blog

A need so great and deep it can never be swallowed

Nov 18, 2009

I took the day off yesterday, to sleep, because I have a cold and, well, want to get well. It feels very very strange not to be painting, even though it’s just been one and a half days. I feel as though I’ve put on the red shoes and cant stop dancing. Now I know that, once I’m done with this series, I had better have something else in my back pocket to begin working on.

Today I began my newest painting, which you can see some of the photo reference for above (I’m surprised I’ve posted this). One of the things I love about it is the scary mouth area and the hollow eyes. I also love how the elongated arms make me feel like there is a great and deep need. It’s kind of a creepy image. It’s called, A needs so great and deep it can never be swallowed. A reference to me feeling under water and swallowing my scream or swallowing water, I’m not sure which.

I’ve set up a photo album for this one as well. Just click the link here to watch it develop. The poem from which the title comes is by Raphael Campo, called My Voice: Painting Progression: A need so great and deep it can never be swallowed

Raphael Campo 1964
My Voice
To cure myself of wanting Cuban songs,
I wrote a Cuban song about the need
For people to suppress their fantasies,
Especially unhealthy ones. The song
Began by making reference to the sea,
Because the sea is like a need so great
And deep it never can be swallowed. Then
The song explores some common myths
About the Cuban people and their folklore:
The story of a little Carib boy
Mistakenly abandoned to the sea;
The legend of a bird who wanted song
So desperately he gave up flight; a queen
Whose strength was greater than a rival king’s.
The song goes on about morality,
And then there is a line about the sea,
How deep it is, how many creatures need
Its nourishment, how beautiful it is
To need. The song is ending now, because
I cannot bear to hear it any longer.
I call this song of needful love my voice.

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