Endless Blues

Text by Ian Findlay-Brown

Pacita Abad: "Endless Blues" are paintings that express the feelings I have had over the past two years (2001-2002), as one thing after another confronted me on both a personal and global level. During this period, I turned inward and spent a lot of time in my studio painting and listening to my favorite blues music.

Endless Blues fuses the mood with the music and my brush pushed these emotions across my canvases. I have been a long-time fan, starting from when I was a graduate student in San Francisco and hanging out with blues musicians in little clubs like "Minnies Can Do". Over the years, the blues have been a constant companion, especially when I paint in my studio.

Although this series is about the blues, it is also an apt description of how I, and most of the world, felt after September 11 and the ensuing battle in Afghanistan. New York and Afghanistan are two of the places that I have always loved, having lived in lower Manhattan and hitchhiked around Afghanistan, before the incessant fighting and bombing consumed the country for almost twenty years. Seeing disaster, tragedy and suffering hit people in both of those places brought me down.

On top of that, on a personal basis, I began a struggle with lung cancer and its associated treatments of surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Yes, chop, burn and poison for eight non-stop months. The emotional and physical sense of uncertainty, as well as the doctor? travel ban, made me take refuge in my studio. The result of course is that painting and listening to the blues was the best therapy. Like the blues, my paintings in this series are always strong, sometimes sad, a bit nostalgic and very colorful.

 

187 Pages, 126 color plates

of 21