boy meets girl

Body language as alchemy of the visual word.  Narratives of ambivalence and anxiety. The spiritual as escapism, a resting place for another departure on the stations of the cross, or a junction, a still faint belief in redemption and salvation, one optimistically fueled by the necessity of coping with trauma, or something deeper, more profound, that which gnaws and knocks until the gatekeeper opens the door.He was engaging in what Rimbaud called the “re-ordering of the senses.”  Witkin’s work can even be considered messianic, and his studies of the victim reflect a righting of the perversity of the spirit endemic to post-modernism…

…He is an acute observer of expressive posture as well as expressive feature — of body language in all its manifestations. (The visual narrator of human experience will fail — not tell the full, hidden story — unless he is a serious student of non-verbal language, which is more basically human than verbal language.)…

Jerome Witkin. A Boy and His Mother, The First Chair 1999 Read More:

Beyond the holocaust paintings, this is nowhere more evident than in A Boy and His Mother, The First Chair (1999). It as emotionally gruesome, if not as obviously horrific, as the holocaust pictures: from her son’s portrait of her, a mother mocks him — her annihilative laughter literally echoes through the space, as the repeated “HA” shows — and the fiancé who displaces her in his affection. Is it her husband who urinates to the side, playing his indifferent part in the Oedipal drama?

The picture is a study in contrasting body types and poses, with each figure isolated and insecure in its own unstable space — turned in on itself, even as it relates, however obliquely, to the other figures in their precarious places. Their hands may be linked, but even the young couple turns away from each other, conveying the uncertainty of their relationship. Read More:

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