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This report is taken from PN Review 172, Volume 33 Number 2, November - December 2006.

The Life of the Eye Rather than the I Daniel Weissbort

Currently my brother George Weissbort has a retrospective exhibition at Chambers Gallery in London. Anticipating that I might be called on to say a few words, and aware of a tendency to ramble, I wrote something.

George paints distinctly and distinctively in a representational tradition which all but vanished only a short while ago, even if it already seems a long time. His art poses a problem. If one were to assume that a con-temporary artist might produce representational works of art as good, say, as those of Vermeer, Velázquez or Ingres – in respect to design, tonal control, line and so forth – how would he be considered? Arguably historical and cultural circumstances cannot or should not be ignored – i.e. we are living in the twenty-first not the seventeenth century. In Borges's famous fable 'Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote' a writer produces an ad-verbum simulacrum of Don Quixote, which, however, becomes an entirely different work because the contexts are so dissimilar... Anyway, here is my undelivered speech:

I have witnessed from an early age my older brother's dedication to looking, seeing. As a child I often posed for him, with the sternest strictures not to move from the original position; so absorbed was George that he would order me peremptorily, almost absent-mindedly to move this way or that. The point is that he was fixated on what he was doing, i.e. looking, not daydreaming or speculating. He is an artist of ...

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