Paul Branca
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Painting Under the Knife (to be read quickly, but not completely, or not at all)

Deadlines: rushing to the airport, rushing to the studio, late for work, late for painting, trying to squeeze in some time in order to do both. Deadlines: mine or yours? Painting is slow - Boeings move fast, money faster. Need to do it all: devastatingly late. Can I miss my own deadline? Secretly yearn to be a hedgehog: stab the fucking hedgehog: bury the hedgehog. Not there yet: another day or two to work. But oil is slow: slow, they say. Rushing to Flushing: Spicy and Tasty and Northern Chinese. Stuffed: oily, deliciously gross. Stomachs appeased: worth trek Want more: walk through Kissena Park because Whitman taught nearby and it is poetic enough to constitute as a cultural experience, OK? Meaning: It's cold! My father: flies. Serene sky: littered with convoys of domestic jets taking off from nearby La Guardia. Nature: raccoons and opossums. Digesting food: peppercorns numbing and hot - stuck in teeth. Night falls: an owl. A moment: love. Need to work: 7 train to studio. Artificial light: tired to work, to see, find energy. White nights: bad work, good work, just work. Another night: friends over, dinner, going home to cook, cut up vegetables and meat, trying to eat well makes me sick, avoiding sleep, rushing around to do more, be everywhere, live a life divided, cut-up. Overwhelmed: kind of makes me want to commit murder. Need to walk: unwind. Don't need: a vacation. Far too many windows open: chat, facebook, mail, amazon, orbitz, travelocity, expedia,, Painting: working to paint - painting to work, palette knives - palette cleansers. Money: debt, one job, two jobs, one class, three classes: 60 students. How will I ever learn their names? Hungry: cutting boards, frying pan, extra-virgin olive, garlic, oil, stains, oil, more clean up, too much. Want to read now: open two books at the same time, check email. To the airport: walk, bus, E train, airtrain, viaduct, terminal, space, non-space, baggage, crowds, security, e-tickets... coffee... knives... knives... bloody mess. A pause: did i leave the gas on? forget to take the garbage out? windows open? rain? good paint brushes left out? paint drying on new brushes, ruining them... hate that. Money: work, time, time away from work, no money. Travel beckons: more shows, other people's work. Do they look good enough? Nope: deadline met. My show: travel, other people's food, my money, no nature, no dialogue, foreign languages, silence. Airport: security, complimentary newspapers, murders, plane crashes, debt, jobless recovery... security. Passing through security - x-rays, stares, accents, commands, order. Paintings through security - levels, time, labor. Simulated blades through security: metal, x-rays, threats, violence, mistake, time: love again and again.
My Kitchen Knife, Shun
My Kitchen Knives, various makes

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