“It was a heavy lump of glass, curved on one side, flat on the other, making almost a hemisphere. There was a peculiar softness, as of rainwater, in both the color and the texture of the glass. At the heart of it, magnified by the curved surface, there was a strange, pink, convoluted object that recalled a rose or a sea anemone.”                         1984, George Orwell 1949

Artist Statement

I hadn’t read Orwell since high school but remembered that it made a big impact on me.  I wasn’t sure if this one would measure up and make my list but I plunged in.  I loved the languages: Newspeak, the Miniluv, the Minipax, the changing wars, the changing friends.  Heroes?  Enemies?  Certainly an overall sense of the ground being way too unstable to make any kind of stand.  Except for the prisons.  There was something very solid and frightening about this solitary confinement.  I wanted to couple this with the rapidly eroding sense of the past in Winston Smith’s mind – hence the piece of coral that he treasured.  The later parts of this book with the manifestos don’t quite seem to hang together.  Not quite as impressed with this book as I was 40 years ago.  Not even sure if this book and painting will remain in the top.  We’ll see.  It made it a lot further than a number of books that I’ve already started and rejected.                   February 2014


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