Yahia Lababidi and Brian Dupont

The “Show and Tell” project in its first form had poets responding to the work of artists, and in one of the pairings Yahia Lababidi responded to a painting called “Record,” by artist Brian Dupont.  Now that dialogue is carried further, with a painting by Dupont, made in response to the poem Lababidi wrote in response to “Record.”  Here, then, in sequence, are Dupont’s original painting, Lababidi’s response to it, Dupont’s response to Lababidi’s poem, and a statement by Dupont about this new painting.

“Monochrome (Pale Fire)”


I find and manipulate text through the painting process, breaking up easily read language through the staccato of mis-registered stencils and layers of paint. Working from Yahia Lababidi’s poetic response to my painting Record, I kept the structure of his stanzas but disassembled the words to fit my attenuated format. I picked a few different single words from each line of the poem and layered them back and forth, building up the horizontal registers of language into a mass of color. As I layered the various reds through the painting, the obvious reference to fire gave way to thinking about how Nabokov’s unreliable narrator similarly misinterpreted and altered another’s words to generate his own meaning.


Both works by Dupont will be included in the show “Appropriated Texts” at the Adah Rose Gallery in Kensington, MD.  Brian Dupont is a painter in New York, and Yahia Lababidi is the author of Fever Dreams.

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