Octavio Paz

Nobel Laureate


6'x4" collage on Belgium linen, fragment from Sacramento Street.


fragment from Sacramento Street

Tienes la forma de un Puente
Bajo tus arcas havega nuestra cuarto Desde tu pretil nos vemas pasar
Ondes en el viento mas luz que cuerpo En la otra arilla el sol crece

Al reves
Sus raices se entienan en el cielo Podramas ocuetamas en su follage
Con sus ramas prendemas una hoguera

El dia es habitable

When I asked Paz if he would like to participate, he wanted to see examples of my work. I showed him the Bishop and Lowell, the only two I had completed. He said, “They write too small. Can I write large? And can I write in Spanish?” My rule for what was becoming The Written Image was the poet chose what to write and how to write their words on the page. Their handwriting is important. It is a self-portrait in the moment. I accepted whatever the poet gave me. I said, “Sure.” When I went to pick up the piece, have a drink with Paz and his wife, he pointed out a spelling mistake and asked if that was acceptable. I said, “yes", but his wife said write it out again. I left with two sheets and the koan of how to use all I’d received. 

Eventually, after living with his poem for more than a year, I ripped up the sheet with the mistake and deckled the edges of the other sheet. I collaged all the pieces onto Belgium Linen. I had gessoed the linen stapled it to the studio wall. The linen’s gesso on the backside shows through to the side I collaged onto. The slight hint of blue came from pulling the canvas off the wall. Because the gesso dried onto the wall, the blue pulled off with it. Perfect. 

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