Saturday, July 14, 2012

Marcus Rothkowitz Made Pants

My piece, Marcus Rothkowitz Made Pants, appears in the show, Down Through the Needle's Eye, which opened last night at the EMP Collective.

Marcus Rothkowitz Made Pants is part biography, half autobiography, and part laundry list. Artist Rothko, born Rothkowitz, was born in Czarist Russia. Upon emigration to Portland, OR, his brothers opened a clothing manufacturer, where the young not-yet-painter worked. When Rothko moved to New York to study art, he was employed for a time in the garment industry, as well as in a dry cleaners. He then painted for some years before committing suicide in 1970.

A self portrait is the passing representation of the self. It is the hair you wear at the time, and the shirt too. It's the materiality—the paint, the ink, the toner—of the portrait itself. It's also you as type, one human, male, American, as against the many. It is, as Rothko was to evoke in his work, the religious, the personal, the collective interiority, a state of suspension—floating, color—being.

By the clothing makes the man.

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