Writing Off the Walls 2022

Creativity in the age of CoVID

Brought to you by Studio Theater in Exile & Hudson Valley MOCA

Jars at McDaid’s
by MaryAnn McCarra-FItzpatrick

Based on John Wesley, Guinness, 1989

her words repeat and repeat,

raven-haired girl, as he drains

the pint of plain,

eyes closed in silent pleasure

at the drenching draught of

the black stuff.

How many hours on the job

today, building upon what went

before—and more to do tomorrow,

primed for it, thick-necked and

ready to meet any obstacle.

Another day done, and yet,

so many more to do, the

sun cracks through the sky

yellow as the egg yolk scraped

from the breakfast plate to the bin, and, as

the gravedigger in Brooklyn said:

Don’t look back. If you look

back you’re finished. Forge on,


It’s time, gentlemen, time. You don’t

have to go home,

but you can’t stay here….

Sinne Fianna Fáil….

Again by Alice Feeley

Based on John Wesley, Guinness, 1989

Comfort in a glass.

Smug gentleman bathed in pastels

eyes closed, distant from photos repeating

what he won’t see or hear.

Identical women filmed with open eyes and mouths

are cornered in a frame nearby

holding their endless gaze, their voice.

Again and again he sips or gulps.

When will the glass be empty

the frame without further comment?

Feel free to navigate through the tabs to hear the recordings/poems of Jars at McDaid's and Again. All of these recordings/poems are based on John Wesleys painting, Guinness, 1989.

Guinness, 1989

John Wesley

American, born 1928

Guinness, 1989

Acrylic on canvas

60 x 72 inches

John Wesley is an American artist whose paintings hover between pop art and erotic surrealism. Wesley has consistently worked with his distinctive palette: primarily, varying tones of ‘pastel’ blue and pink “It was just fun doing what I was doing.”

“The complex world of John Wesley is, paradoxically reached via a short journey, and the ease with which he is able to conjure up special effects in the viewer’s minds places his work in the great tradition of the blind visionary. Under the surface of his absurd utterances, however, a scathing commentary on society, superficiality, power or abuse can be found, if one only wants to look for it.” --Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, “John Wesley: A Retrospective,” PS1/MoMA

John Wesley has been exhibited and collected by museums worldwide since the 1960s. Surveys of his work have been held at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, curated by Rudi Fuchs and Kasper Koenig (travelled to Portikus); Museum Ludwigsburg, curated by Udo Kittleman (travelled to DAAD, Berlin); PS1 MoMA, Long Island City, curated by Alana Heiss; Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, MA, curated by Linda Norden; Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld, Germany, curated by Martin Henschel; Chinati Foundation, Marfa, TX, curated by Marianne Stockebrand; and Fondazione Prada at the Venice Biennale curated by Germano Celant. Since 2004, the Chinati Foundation, Marfa, TX. has maintained a permanent gallery housing its collection of Wesley’s paintings, as was intended by Judd since the foundation’s inception. In 2014, Wesley was commissioned to create a public art project for the High Line.

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