In 2012, I made a painting called Flasher. I wanted to make a painting that felt like it was almost a painting turned inside out, so you could see all the language of making a painting but also the seams and the underside of a painting. The painting is of a woman, sort of flashing the viewer, but she is wearing these really red pants. I always thought of those pants as almost … high-performance red pants! I had a drawing teacher once that wore these amazing red pants and everybody fell in love with her.
The subject to me felt like it could look … almost like a face falling in on itself, in terms of making the portrait, and I think there are these questions of how do you make this face, or what should this face be like, and I wanted it to feel like a subject that was totally being pressed up against the space of the canvas, and also maybe a slight shake to the face, in a way that they were in a very vulnerable position. And I was thinking it could feel like a shark, or the underside of a shark, a stingray, the whole painting could feel like a stingray. So those are the kinds of associations that I could think of when I was starting this painting. There are tools on the inside of the jacket – tools, usually, that are involved in the studio, I think. Like scissors, for cutting canvas.
This painting for me was the first where I started to really open up the way that I was painting, where the gesture became really important for me. I think, in previous paintings, it was almost always about the material and this kind of facture, or the brushstroke, and I think I wanted to include this kind of speed that was happening in the painting, and also for the gesture to hover and sit in the air.