How did he manage it,
a landscape artist, simply that,
resolved to paint a crucifixion -
and not just a, the most impressive,
most authentic yet.
He had a wooden cross made -
made to measure, so to speak -
and placed himself, roped, hanging there.
And thus completely incommoded,
drew himself seen in a mirror.
And there's the bit I fail to understand.
How did he manage that?
Had I been Sutherland
I think I would have had no mirror,
but with the brush held in my teeth
and wearing an effective blindfold
would have set out to mark on canvas
areas of pain.
I'll not pretend it would have looked like crucifixion:
it might have, but I doubt it. Any way,
what visual art portrays
need not be visual.
I think it would have worked for me,
but would it have been art?
Ah, there's the rub,
for that's the thing about a claim to making art...
it must communicate outside oneself.
The hope that Sutherland held dear
was perfect truth, history's
most pure and its most unadorned
view of its most significant event.
For perfect truth the self will always need
a crucifixion. Did you know
you can down-load self crucifixion ring tones
from the Internet? *
* by Virgin Steele
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