Meta-painting? [Flash Fiction]

A fragment of a conversation had among friends at the Dock Street Brewery in Philadelphia a couple of decades ago after a day at the Cezanne Exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum. The fragment is from one friend who suggested that they go to the Dock Street Brewery to eat and drink. 

The unpainted patches in some Cezanne paintings do not indicate an unfinished painting; they are instead Cezanne breaking the plane of the painting by allowing canvas to intrude, thus disallowing us the ability to suspend disbelief–as if Van Gogh or Gaugin could allow this–Rembrandt, Tintoretto, Caravaggio? This, though, is not the point–breaking the plane of the painting with patches of unpainted canvas refocuses the eye on the act of painting in itself.

Remember how impressed everyone was by Bergman’s meta-filmic moment in his Persona. Cezanne had pictorially paved the way for Bergman in this way. Bergman worked in theater and had knowledge of character asides to the audience, themselves meta-theatric–at times dramatic, often lyric, yet sometimes narrative. In as much as narrative in film is the montage itself, Bergman might have been using the moment the film breaks apart in Persona as the cinematic equivalent of an aside.

Cezanne’s patches are his painterly asides to his viewers?

Anything else from that day in that year—when was it?—there is no recollection of, these being the only remembered words.


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