MY ANALYSIS OF parade 46 / this Guardian post tells the tragic greek story / south pacific / / by Philip Tarlow

2:19 pm: parade 46 may be resolved. i'll know in the morning. below, 3 of the stages in it's development.

this painting is an excellent example of what my former mentor yannis tsarouchis once told me. "all good or great painting," he said "is abstract."

at the time, in the athens of the '70's, i didn't fully comprehend. now, i think i do. 

so this one, more than the others in this series, functions simultaneously on both levels. on the realist level, it tells a story. a very contemporary and, i think, quite moving story. on the abstract plane, it's kind of like an oriental composition of biomorphic shapes, colors and patterns.

it's satisfying to the eye and the heart either way. as a story, it contains enough mystery to engage the viewer over and over. you don't need to know what that the green object is, or the off-white round object the two kids are so intently examining. it's better, indeed, if you keep conjecturing. i certainly didn't intend for it to carry a racial message. but the fact that a black kid and a white kid are experiencing discovery and wonder together is all the more moving because it emerged spontaneously.

the coloristic gamut is, i would say, characteristically tarlovian; rooted as it is in earth tones. there are enough neutral greys to allow the blues, reds and yellows to pop. and the biomorphic shapes, some of which announce "hair," others "hand," are a perfect foil for the pattern of the wood or the wool cap. the application of oil paint is certain, playful and extremely sensual.

this is not an advertisement for myself. if i don't spin this tale, who will?


12:53 pm: here's the current state of parade 46.....still painting









9:45 am: i found this guardian post very hard to look at. but it tells the story of what the greek people are going through better than anything i've seen recently.

In an earlier entry, I posted this photograph that sums up how deeply sad the debt crisis is for ordinary Greek people.

 Giorgos Chatzifotiadis, sitting on the ground crying outside a national bank branch in Thessaloniki. Sakis Mitrolidis/AFP/Getty Images Photograph: SAKIS MITROLIDIS/AFP/Getty Images

We now know more about the man, who is pensioner Giorgos Chatzifotiadis.

From the AFP news agency:

Giorgos Chatzifotiadis had queued up at three banks in Greece’s second city of Thessaloniki on Friday in the hope of withdrawing a pension on behalf of his wife, but all in vain.

When he was told at the fourth that he could not withdraw his €120 (£86, $133), it was all too much and he collapsed in tears.

The 77-year-old told AFP that he had broken down because he “cannot stand to see my country in this distress”.

“That’s why I feel so beaten, more than for my own personal problems,” Chatzifotiadis said.

The image of him sitting outside the bank, openly crying in despair with his savings book and identity card on the floor, was captured by an AFP photographer illustrating how ordinary Greeks are suffering during the country’s debt crisis.

Recounting how he had gone from bank to bank in a futile attempt to collect his wife’s pension, Chatzifotiadis said when he was told at the fourth “that I could not get the money, I just collapsed”.

Both he and his wife, like many Greeks in the north of the country, had spent several years in Germany where he “worked very hard” in a coal mine and later a foundry.

But Chatzifotiadis feels he can do little to change the situation, and he is not even sure if he would be able to vote at Sunday’s referendum on whether to accept international creditors’ bailout conditions.

European leaders have warned that a ‘No’ vote would also mean no to the eurozone.

Pointing out that the polling station is 80 kilometres (50 miles) away, Chatzifotiadis said: “I have no money to go there, unless perhaps if my children would take me in their car.”

9:46 am: about to continue work on parade 46.

this painting is part of my parade series, which i am currently working on and will be shown in my next solo exhibition, opening nov. 5 at gremillion & co. fine art in houston. click on the "parade series" link below to view the rest of the paintings.

a sentimental SOB

that's me. yep. as i'm painting, i scroll though my thousands of songs on my ipod. i ran across "happy talk" with the original cast of south pacific. it made me cry. yep. my mom loved that musical, and i can remember her singing that particular song. she had a good voice, and acted in amateur performances, including south pacific, at our temple. i remember her in her sailors costume, perky as can be. oh, mom.