Well, I knew about him before buying The Essential Cy Twombly*. And then I got lost in it.
As a quick reference: this is the official website of the foundation in his name, and this is the link to the book on Amazon. From the SF MOMA page: “The Essential Cy Twombly, edited by Twombly’s longtime collaborator Nicola Del Roscio, is the ultimate overview of his work, presenting the most important paintings and cycles of paintings, drawings, sculptures and photographs from Twombly’s diverse oeuvre.”
And this is what he does:
I feel I found someone whose practice, research, work, courage and not botheressness inspires and validates my strife, my journey, my experimenting. And my marks.
And the use of house paint! On walls! That’s me all over…
He used to draw blind, at times (I did, too and I am also using my non-dominant hand or both at the same time) but moreover, I am struck by another parallel, really to the point of being unbelievable: he worked as an army cryptologist. My dad and I spent innumerable hours making cyphers since he was in the army, and “in under places” in the early ’80s. We played with numbers, ancient codes, hidden messages, formulas, crypto-writing.
You can see the evolution of his work, and how he changed and how his art changed and grew: an infinite self-alteration. Am I changing too? Of course, but at what rate? Can I stop and solidify? If his alter ego was Proteus: which one is mine? And, do I need one? He transformed even with the use of colours: from natural history to epic: look how he used the same colours as the Renaissance: scarlets, crimson, golds, but in a completely different and modern suggestive expression.
I am thinking of his thoughts on theoretical encapsulating and on the pretentionalism of conceptualised art: where is the freedom if you decide to abide by a theory? If you look for a label?
In this, he becomes my alter ego: a sense of perfection and freedom personified.
*Del Roscio, N. (2014) The essential Cy Twombly. London: Thames and Hudson