Wall Label for an Imaginary Painting by Chris Bullard

June 30, 2014 Comments Off on Wall Label for an Imaginary Painting by Chris Bullard

In a letter to a fellow artist, N wrote “The napkin is regret. . .” This explains, perhaps, the energy created by one detail among the many items portrayed in this still-life of a mid-century dining table. Placed beside a blue porcelain soup tureen, the napkin, balled-up and abandoned, suggests a snow-white skull with a crease running through the fabric like the slit of a mouth. At the right center of the image, an indentation in the cloth could be taken for a baleful, cataract-glazed eye. The scene seems to parallel the vanitas theme of the Dutch Golden Age. Certainly, the period during which this work was executed was one of intense introspection. At about the time the artist completed this painting, the artist’s wife confided to a friend that “N grows more morose with every day. The doctor despairs of doing anything for his mental state.”

© 2014 Chris Bullard

Chris Bullard is a native of Jacksonville, FL. He lives in Collingswood, NJ, and works for the federal government as an Administrative Law Judge. He received his BA from the University of Pennsylvania and his MFA from Wilkes University. Plan B Press published his chapbook, You Must Not Know Too Much, in 2009. Big Table Publishing published his second chapbook, O Brilliant Kids, in 2011. WordTech Editions published his first full-length book of poetry, Back, in November of 2013. Kattywompus Press published his third chapbook, Dear Leatherface, in January of 2014.

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