The Score

I am keeping a log of which drawings are most frequently chosen, and which grid sizes are most popular. In other words, I'm keeping score.

I have favorites. Some were instant favorites. Some grew in favor while still others grew out. As the number of drawings increased I would on occasion show them to folks who were at the house (they were always shown laid out in grid form) and inevitably a drawing that was teetering on the edge, about to go into my reject pile, would be chosen by someone as their favorite, or one of their favorites. Sometimes I'd pull a drawing out of the reject pile to fill out a row and again, inevitably it seems, someone would choose one from the reject pile as a favorite. And though the rejects always went back to their pile, those teetering on the edge stayed. For the most part I'm glad they did. There are a few I sometimes still wish I had done over or replaced outright, but admittedly I'm now very curious to see how they score compared to the rest. In any event, it was this give and take that spawned the idea of allowing folks their choice of drawings. Or to opt out of choosing by choosing them all.

In addition to laying the drawings out to show others I would lay them out every time a new drawing was made to see how it worked within the group. Or I'd lay them out and look them over while deciding what to do next. Whether to show others or to look them over myself they would be laid out until I had what I thought was a pleasant arrangement. It was never the same and though I was intrigued by that notion, the thinking all along was conventional. In the end, when they were all made, I would come up with an arrangement that I liked and that would be that. Then print an edition. It was near the end, with just a few drawings left, when the notion of allowing folks to choose their favorites to form smaller grids fully emerged. An idea that while possible since the invention of the printing press was never exactly practical. It isn't impractical today. To reconcile the fact that each smaller print would be uniquely chosen and arranged while the full size print was a fixed arrangement I abandoned the idea of any sort of traditional edition. Instead every print would be uniquely arranged as I'd done many times while showing others or looking them over myself.

An unlimited edition of sorts. And keeping score just seemed like the natural thing to do. Results will be posted sometime in the future. Not sure when.

In an effort to keep faith with this page titled "The Score" I've done a tally of how many times each image appears and in how many separate drawings:

POW - in 38 different drawings - 452 times
Feet - 34 drawings - 264 times
Christ figure - 27 - 152
Marat - 15 - 106
Birdies - 14 - 92
Lungs - 14 - 46

And for the record: the face of Marat is from the painting by David. My all time favorite painting. The Christ figure is from a painting by Velasquez. It's the only well known crucifixion painting where the feet aren't crossed that I know of. It's simple and it's great looking. The POW is north vietnamese, held by Americans if that matters to you, from a magazine photo. The feet are from my sketchbook, inspired by a morgue shot. There was a toe tag originally. That might be from Andre Serrano but I don't remember. The birdies, I definitely don't remember, a generic picture. Lung flowers are mine. I used to draw lungs all the time. My brother had part of his right lung removed when we were kids. I'm sure the procedure is outdated now. He had a scar that went from his sternum around to his spine and we would tell other kids it was from a shark attack. It was very believable. I've got some other images too that I like to use as well but only used these for this set.