Last year, I was out buying paint and saw this postcard near the checkout making super aggressive eye-contact and a lewd gesture (try it on your friends). I took it home and taped it just above eye- level to the wall facing the desk where I work. The artist is Jan Cornelisz Vermeyen, the subject is Jean de Carondelet, the attitude is fuck-you-whatever. The attitude was very important at the time; I also wanted to learn more about green. This silly-stern image has been a great studio fetish/protector/teacher and is the only reproduction in my periphery while painting. Jean is very complicated but doesn’t protest too much and that’s crucial.
Last month I hung a very new painting on the wall near the postcard. My painting was so new I still hated it. Once it cooled, though, the paternity was obvious—Jan’s genes were everywhere. I was so proud!
-Peter Shear, 2012