Hey, we’re back! We missed you. Painters on Paintings took a pandemic pause. One benefit to running a small journal is that it can wax and wane with the tides of our energies and immune systems. This is what has kept the project sustainable since 2014. For many of us in the art community, these past two years were a time to trim anything that wasn’t essential from our practice. For Julie and Virginia, this opened a space to play in new media (Virginia in animation, Julie in the graphic novel form). More recently, we’ve folded back in what still feeds us. During this intermission, we talked about what keeps us creating on many long walks in Woodstock, the Catskills, and Prospect Park. And we are more curious than ever: what about art kept you going during this long hiatus? We want to hear from you. What are you looking at? How are you seeing?

In re-entering the bustle of galleries, museums, and art happenings in this late stage of the pandemic, amid jumpy bouts of re-opening, it’s hard to put a finger on one zeitgeist. When picturing the art world today, a many-faced chimera appears. A behemoth, struggling to its feet, tripping, changing forms as it lurches from Chelsea down to Chinatown. Shifting shapes with each stride, fur and feathers flying. 

A scroll of different features flicker across the screen of its face and are hard to recall a moment later. But, every once in a while, one holds its form long enough to have a lasting effect. We hear it clearly over the sensory cacophony. From Suzanne Bocanegra’s Honor at the Met where Lili Taylor masqueraded as an artist obsessed with a colossal tapestry, to Rachel Rose’s film about the shift in 1699 England away from shared land to the alchemy of private property, to Saraceno’s spider/web vibratory experience at the Shed, certain works stick with us. We use this journal as a site to sit with them. We find it a nourishing practice. 

Virginia will begin with an artwork that resonated with her. Guadalupe Maravilla’s sound baths are works that unfold over time. The slowness of them helps to center our digitally scattered, anxious attention. She’s shared her experience with them here as a way to sound the bell of a hopeful, healing chapter.