It’s 4:14. (Whey Fo Me)


It’s 4:14. (Whey Fo Me)
Originally uploaded by 730N

So the blog writing did stall. Apologies for that! I did get lost, but thankfully it was in the studio. I fell out of contact for a little while I was painting a new picture for my first official show in Philadelphia. It was a group show (Sam hang too!) at the Highwire Gallery. The opening was fun! Turnout was decent. We didn’t network as much as we should have, but had a grand time talking about the range of work that was there. My painting was called “Sugarhouse and the Divide” and had ballot boxes below it where people could vote on a contentious neighborhood issue. More on that soon! The night was punctuated with a couple glasses of Absynth and all in all was a much needed gallery crawl through the neighborhood.

So “It’s 4:14 (Whey Fo Me)” is the next up for brainstorming.

Taking some of the themes from the previous blog post:

  • form drawn up out of it’s relationship to light,
  • my role as an observer,
  • context I place my practice in,
  • specificity of place.

Again we have a singular subject, placed in it’s environment. What is the environment? There is a candle in the lower right corner. The subject has a glass of some liquid while sitting in a curved booth. There is decorative woodwork in the background and a what looks like a picture frame in the upper left. Much of this suggests a bar of some kind, yet no other people are in the picture.

Marc, the subject of the painting, is wearing what looks like a jean jacket with a woolish collar. He has facial hair shaved into a goatee/ sideburn style. His eyes look slightly drunk, yet perhaps that effect is also achieved by the upturned eyebrows, which could lengthen the eyelids.

Marc’s weight is placed on his right elbow. The arms are mostly crossed, except for the drink in his left hand which he holds with his thumb and forefinger. The direction of the torso follows the curve of the booth he is sitting in, suggesting that the current posture is temporary. A quiet pose, the inclusion of the glass, the lean toward the camera, the upturned eyebrows and direct eye contact with otherwise relaxed face all speak to an offered mythology. One that somebody who recently looked at this painting encapsulated quite succinctly with “Dude looks like he is in the Sopranos”

The painting has a lot of curves in it. The curve of the booth is the dominate line of the composition. The environment is mostly orange and reds and surrounds the figure. The figure, while mostly blue, reflects the orange light of the environment. The site and the figure are creating a particular feel that neither could quite do without the other. The particular feel occasionally is mobster tinged, and occasionally is drunk and out on the town.

The line of the wall paneling seems to be off in terms of traditional perspective. But I think this works to stall the viewers eye at Marc’s eyes, which are looking directly back at you.

The second place of attention is the green in the upper right, which then moves down to the candle in the lower right.

I have to split to go to work now, but I hope to return to this to address

  • form drawn up out of it’s relationship to light,
  • the light of the room— light as a definer, especially in light of painting. What else are definers? Politics of Space? Form gets drawn up out of it’s relationship to “definers?” need a better word.

  • my role as an observer,
  • I help in the mythologizing of symbols. I also have a lifetime of history with Marc, a fact that further “defines” and/or sheds light on the form.

  • context I place my practice in,
  • I looked at Alice Neel and John Currin while writing this. They have similarities in portraits as a singular subject, but they embrace any distortions. I have distortions in form, but don’t directly play into them at this point.

  • specificity of place.
  • I like the sound of this phrase and need to elaborate upon it. But this space appears to be coded as a bar with its attendant details and rules…. both defined by and defining what is done in it.

    bye for now.


By Noel Hefele

Noel Hefele is an artist living in the Bronx

1 comment

  1. I have been reading your blog last couple of weeks and enjoy every bit. Thanks.

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