The first time I saw him he came in with the photographer, skinny, red trucker hat, not Californian, picking out glasses as if he were playing dress up. The second time, pictures: his work, his materials, his hand, our glasses. The last, when he came in to say thanks and return the frames, keeping a free pair for his troubles, maybe tag us on Insta for ours. He lived his life, I lived mine. We reached a point in the process, a break in the action, a slot in the schedule when we were all ready to let go. I looked at the pictures, I looked at the paintings, I looked at the writeups. Scott Laufer, Artist. Who, what, when, where, why. How would you summarize yourself? What questions need to be asked, in what sequence, in what way?
Yes, but no. Not enough, too much. How about you give me some bullet points. Give me the broad strokes of who you are, who you have been, who you wish to be. Make your story the kind that is easily told. I grew up in rural Pennsylvania and currently live and work in Highland Park. I have no formal art education. I only became interested in art late, in my early 20s. Drawn to the classics initially, I became interested in contemporary art when I realized I don't live in the Romantic Era. Exploring a new direction and new mediums allow me to speak in ways I wasn't able to with traditional figurative painting, although I do still draw from those roots. In a lot of ways my work is autobiographical. I often take specific experiences and try to interpret them through my work, the same way a writer does.
This is not Scott. It is just his handle, his version of events on one particular platform. But it’s all we have, when we don’t have the time or the chance or the will. When we don’t have the specific experiences to interpret. Between the idea / And the reality / Between the motion / And the act / Falls the Shadow. The composite, the recording. The gesture and the stroke, the letter and the hue. The portrait of an artist.