Slippery Subjects: Thoughts on the Occasion of Ashbery and Koch’s “Death Paints a Picture”
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So it begins, and goes on in this way for another 40 lines, all but the last of which contain at least one capitalized name and the word “statue.” “Death Paints a Picture” thus fits neatly into the series of a dozen or so other poetic collaborations by Ashbery and Koch that follow “amusing intricate rules” (as Koch once termed them) of the poets’ own devising, while at the same time also managing to fit, if only just, under the “poets on painting” rubric imposed upon them on this occasion by ArtNews (qtd. in Lehman 84).
The statue of Balenciaga was dripping onto other statues: Among those it dripped on was the statue of Popeye And the statue of President Hoover, who was himself a statue, And the statue of Swee’Pea, which lay at the foot of the statue of Popeye. (“Death” 24)
KeywordsSubject Matter Artistic Medium Individual Artist Locus Solus Romantic Couple
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