Abbreviated Portrait No. Six: JCK NKLSON
Poteet on Jack Nicholson: When you think of Jack Nicholson, what do you see? Every time I ask someone this question, regardless of the answer, I see smiles appear as soon as the name is mentioned. For the painting itself, I see black and white, unquestionably. His personality is expressed through his extraordinary facial expressions-to me, he is not dry wit or anything else-he's just Jack. His facial characteristics are so strong, the challenge is not to be literal. A simple line here or there that is not forced, but that truly emanates from the mind. In this process, there is a
lot of trial and error-too much...not enough.
If I can identify that ONE LINE, that one line that 'captures it' then it flows. That shape has to exist in the mind's eye and not be contrived intellectually. I see the mischievous smile, sunglasses, eyebrow, but painting the smile would be too literal.
Poteet worked on a small 'study' first, creating the large piece next. The painting began with "marilyn white" (the same cool white that Poteet used for the background of the MRLN MNRO painting. He wasn't happy with it until he finally added just a hint of flesh tone. Then the piece "came alive..." it started to "be him." There is a big difference between cool white and warm white, Poteet says, I don't see him as a 'cold' person, I see him as being full of life. Most definitely black and white, but the white had to be warm. The white in the MRLN MNRO painting is a reference to her dress, where with JCK NKLSON, it is a reference to HIM.
After the viewer recognizes the reference to Nicholson's expressive eyebrow(s), the rest of the painting falls into place. The abstract imagery in the center hints at sunglasses or perhaps the famous crossed arms. The
colors in the center reflect the costume that Nicholson wore in his role as the Joker in the 1989 move, Batman, or also the reflective surface of sunglasses. When the viewer recognizes the portrait as Jack, the imagery at the top and upper right and left borders become active as Nicholson's