"The Cinematographer": Director's Cut
This watercolor depicts a domestic interior -- my own. At the time the painting was done, my household included, besides myself, a fox terrier and the man to whom he was deeply attached. Though the composition is a result of the sometimes random capture of a visual field that a camera permits, it also includes a sly art-historical commentary on Diego Velazquez's masterpiece, Las Meninas.
In that group portrait, a dog dominates the foreground. In the background, portraits of the king and queen appear -- optically impossibly cropped, as it happens -- reflected in a mirror. Dimly lighted paintings from the royal collection adorn the walls of the dimly lighted room. Light from an open door pierces the background. The artist himself appears as well, holding brush and palette. In The Cinematographer, my camera and I appear only in reflection, the fox terrier is front and center, much like the Infanta Margarita in Las Meninas, paintings are hung on the walls, the dog's owner pays attention only to the newspaper he is reading, much as some of Velazquez's ancillary figures attend to their own conversations.