“It had a highly irregular rectangular shape, which gave it a grotesque aspect. A wall with three windows facing the canal embankment cut across the room at an angle. . . On the right in the corner there was a bed. Beside it, closer to the door, was a chair. Along the same wall as the bed, by the door that led to the other apartment, stood a simple deal table covered with a bluish tablecloth; near the table were two chairs with rush seats. . . The yellowish, stained, shabby wallpaper had turned dark in all the corners.”

       Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky 1866

Artist Statement

Madness and murder.  Wandering through the streets.  Wandering through one’s mind.  Plenty of tortuous routes and anguish to go around.  This is the mixed up individual actually committing some of the imagined senseless crimes.  I remember initially reading this book as a challenge to get through.  This time much more relaxed, for a non-relaxing book.  The writing is so wonderful that you don’t want to hurry through it.  However I do have a deadline so I can’t make this book last for a month.  I was taken by the description of Sonya’s bare room.  Sonya, now a prostitute, was living a life of poverty.  As I was painting her room according to Raskolnikov’s impressions, I was struck by how much it brought to mind a Van Gogh painting – the idea not the execution.  I looked up The Bedroom at Arles which he painted in 1889. Here was the bleakness of that spare room.  Van Gogh could have read this book published 20 years earlier and have been struck by this same description.  Kind of fun to think so, even though Van Gogh was living in his bleak room at the time that he painted it. July 2014


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s