Updated: Aug 12, 2019

Typically I do not title my paintings. I don’t know what to title what I paint. Not knowing what I paint even after I’ve painted it leaves complexity in place, just a little bit, on my canvas.

If I title my paintings, then I’ve taken my emotionality and my thoughts, what I’ve just expressed on canvas, and organized and concretized that which is more honestly left wordless.

If I present an abstraction of art originating from an abstraction within me and then title it, haven’t I just squeezed all abstraction out of the expressions of my complex inner world.

This complex uncertainty might be uncomfortable for the viewer, and may be why many people do not like this type of art.

That being said, not all of my paintings are without verbiage (paintings #29 The Howl and #37 Boxed In). Although these are not formally titled (words are within the painting and do not label the painting as such), I struggle to provide an adequate explanation that fits with a philosophy I share with Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher of the late sixth century BC: “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.”

-- Allan Gelber


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