Ed Moses: The Lion of Venice Reflects on Maintaining the Fire

October 10, 2014 6:37 PM

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Ed Moses: The Lion of Venice Reflects on Maintaining the Fire

Ed Moses, the grand lion of Venice, California, sits in a black chair in his studio gallery slowly rotating, watching as studio assistants move his huge paintings on geometric canvases. These are from his crackaleur series, a mutation away from his famous angular grid work. After applying thick layers of paint that season with Moses' "secret sauce" in the outdoor central courtyard of his studio compound, the venerable artist punches the canvases, creating rosettes and shatter patterns. The 88-year old painter explains wryly: "I discovered this by accident by when I fell into a canvas."

Now he creates the crackaleur works purposefully, though without pre-meditation. Caught up in the creative process, he hits the canvases. He stops. He hits again. The key, he says is knowing, sensing, when to stop the process of punching the dried paint. But, he admits, some times he goes too far.

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