by Jon Rappoport

April 2, 2015


Often, it is the lack of perfection that moves the painter to strike out into previously unknown territory and find new forms.

Even Piero Della Francesca sometimes executed his figures in a rather wooden manner. From that platform, so to say, he invented another race of men and women who came from an unearthly place.

And what painter can say he achieved The Perfect? Michelangelo? Perhaps on occasion. But not always. And is the great statue of David his masterpiece? Not by a long shot.

So why not bend a nose instead of making it straight? Why not enlarge the nose so it takes over? Why not blur the distinction between the nose and the cheek? Why should the face be a face? Why can’t it be a chair?

And if so, why not just keep going and see what develops? It’s all foreign territory, it’s all new, it’s all emerging. It’s not an It.

What the painter ordinarily sees gives way to what he invents and discovers. The “theme” vanishes. The overriding idea takes a back seat.

And then, perhaps he says, “But I do want to connect these ‘things’. I want to deepen the connection.”


Who knows?

He tries…but not through reducing the elements. He’s not in the business of making it all simpler. He’s not trying for a summary. He’s not a carrier of a message.

And after a while, the “deepening of the connection” becomes, itself, a new element in the painting. It isn’t connecting anything. So he takes off from there.

He’s always taking off. When he returns, to make sense of what he’s doing, he doesn’t succeed. Who cares? “Making sense”—what he produces in that effort—becomes new material to work with.

He isn’t practicing to attain a “just-so” situation. He isn’t doing a balancing act. He’s not delivering a punchline. The whole panting is the punchline.

The world may operate according to an endless series of summations, but the painter doesn’t have to.

The people who plan futures are always looking for some version of perfection, which is closed. They can’t conceive of what “open” might be.

Even wondering about “open” is outside their capacity.

Which is why, at the end of the line, there is no end.

Maybe Jan Van Eyck was perfect. But even he wound up with characters who could have dropped in on a UFO. They were bent from the inside.

Vermeer was perfect, but he spilled over the boundaries of ordinary reality. The powder of light. He found an exactitude that doesn’t exist anywhere else.

Exit From the Matrix

People are so worried about the decimation of forms. They think the world is ending. The world ended a moment after it was made. After that, everything was new, even the vain attempt to return to what was.

The other day, while I was looking at a small painting I did two years ago, a painting I never liked, I found a long man sitting down reading a book of light. There he is. Is he an accident? The word has no meaning in this context.

Behind, above, below, inside the world is the painter. As Philip Guston once said, “He stays alive.”

The painter has intuition, instinct, preferences that don’t belong in the What Is. He paints those preferences…and then he discovers new preferences that appear on the canvas.

Suppose, underneath it all, every human is like this: he has preferences that don’t belong in the world, that can’t be expressed in language.

Then, the meaning of culture, operant conditioning, indoctrination, programming take on new significance.

As his ship leaves the dock, the painter offloads all that baggage.

Jon Rappoport

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at or OutsideTheRealityMachine.

6 comments on “Painting

  1. karmic spiel says:

    This article conveys so much; a painting made with words. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect — I read it right before leaving to visit a museum. They had a Vermeer and two Philip Guston’s so I got both ends of the spectrum. My brain is still vibrating.

    • From Québec says:

      “a painting made with words” (karmic spiel)

      I couldn’t have said it better. Jon is a true artist.

      Speeking of Philip Guston’s painting, one of my favorite one is :

      “If This Be Not I, 1945”

      Did you ever see it?
      Incredibly beautiful!

  2. From Québec says:

    “And then, perhaps he says, “But I do want to connect these ‘things’. I want to deepen the connection.”
    Who knows?”


    I found out that when you mix reality with non-reality in your painting, you captivate everybody and get them really thinking.
    It’s a bit like juxtaposing two complementary colors directly to each other to produce a simultaneous contrast.

    Like you often say, Jon: “The goal is to be able to function in both worlds: Inside and outside the Reality Machine.”

    Same thing goes for writers. A story that has logic, but is also filled at the same time with some magic. That usually strikes people’s attention.

    Posts like these ones:

    – The reality salesman makes a house call
    – Case against the magician
    – Etc.

  3. I enjoyed this piece very much. I haven’t been writing long and maybe I don’t do it well, but I know already that even a blog entry has a life of its own. Sometimes I don’t get to say what I’d wanted to. Today I had to delete a whole top section, as the post didn’t want it.

    Mathematics is also an art. Gödel mathematically proved that no utopia can be closed. There would be incompleteness (exclusions, the unfit, outcasts, …) and contradictions (unfairness, rewards for useless endeavor, …). History has also proven it.

    • From Québec says:

      “Mathematics is also an art.” (Rosalie)

      I never thought about it that way. But, you might be right. Every single thing that exists on this earth was created by someone.

      And what is art? It’s creating something new. Isn’t Maths a creative process? Well, I guess it is in a way. It would be sort of a creative imagination combined whit a critical reasoning. A bit like a painting combining “reality” (critical reasoning) with “non-reality” (creative imagination).

      I hope I’m making sense here…lol.

      And don’t worry Rosalie, I have the same problem you have to express myself since I am French. I never seem to be able to say what I really want to say in English.

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