Mixed media on canvas
24” x 16”
Inspired by the poem "Writing While Driving Across the Tappan Zee Bridge" by Anique Taylor
WRITING WHILE DRIVING ACROSS THE TAPPAN ZEE BRIDGE
A fog so dense, I drive ahead
enclosed in a separate world. A member
of the generation raised ignored and unseen, I
swallow each day like a fisherman afraid of the ocean.
The first thing I learned in college after
the in loco parentis lecture on the necessity
of virginity, was how to roll a joint. I paced corn
fields reciting poems to communities of stars, as night
sky engulfed the land. The first time I left, I hitchhiked into
dawn, sawdust puppets tucked into cloth laundry bag on one shoulder,
a broken guitar on the other. Out Route 68, I boomeranged back to suburban
cocktail parties, adults embarrassed by love, scotch & cigarettes embedded in their cells.
Across the Tappan Zee, where slabs of concrete had
crashed into the river leaving openings in pavement
large enough to see down into the Hudson. I examine
my wrinkled face in the mirror. A ghost of myself ringed
with colored mists, the clown in me gives me courage.
Some pray to the crescent
moon. Lucky ones drive ahead as if
there’s nothing to fear. Some scribble on paper
scraps on the steering wheel, to capture whatever we can.
We balance, one legged
toppling un-metered through dreams
to risk the unknown before the absorption
of all palpable light. We sing and we sing wanting
only to touch the moving silhouette before it disappears
— © Anique Taylor
Painting for me is a constant, energizing connecting of opposites -- place/displacement, certainty/mystery. As a former playwright, I tend to see the figures in my paintings as characters with an implied before and after, where “beingness” itself is relational and in flux. My primary interest is to capture layers of consciousness, the precarious balance of time/ timelessness, the overlap of memories. I usually work in series, with different subject matter brought together under one theme, such as “School Days,” “The Shape of Water,” “Silence of Nowhere.”In my latest series, I’ve focused entirely on the narrative of masculinity -- men clothed, naked, solid, disintegrating. While male painters have traditionally objectified women as sirens, muses, demons, mothers, etc. I am reaching for a holistic depiction of maleness, not as “mankind” but as a specific gender in a state of disarray and off-balance, which reflects my feelings of where I stand today as a female (feminist) artist looking at men-- an anxious stance. In my series “Silence of Nowhere,” I’m capturing the sense of expectancy, of looking outward, but also searching from within. My practice often involves taking the same scene and varying it slightly in different panels, like frames of a film, to signify the passage of time. I start with ink or charcoal and add thin layers of acrylic and watch a drama unfold.