- The Lenkiewicz Book Project
- Book For Sale
- Lenkiewicz: The Artist
- Early Work
- Themed Projects
- Project 1: Vagrancy
- Project 1a: Vagrancy
- Project 2: Death and the Maiden
- Project 3: Mental Handicap
- Project 4: Love and Romance
- Project 5: Love and Mediocrity
- Project 6: Paintings Designed to Make Money
- Project 7: Gossip on The Barbican
- Project 8: Jealousy
- Project 9: Orgasm
- Project 10: Self Portrait
- Project 11: Old Age
- Project 12: Suicide
- Project 13: Still Lives
- Project 14: The Painter With Mary
- Project 15: Death
- Project 16: Sexual Behaviour
- Project 17: Observations on Local Education
- Project 18: The Painter With Women
- Project 19: Landscape
- Project 20: Addictive Behaviour
- Project 21: Paintings Painted Blind - On The Theme Of Tobit
- Project 22: Still Lives II
- Project 23: Time
- Project 24: The Harrowing of Hell
- Non-Project Work
- Style and Technique
- Popular Sitters
- Lenkiewicz: The Book Collector
- Lenkiewicz: The Philanthropist
- Lenkiewicz: The Writer
- Personal Memoirs
- a childs-eye view of lenkiewicz
Project 8: Jealousy
The following brief explanation was contained in the booklet produced to accompany a Retrospective of Lenkiewicz's work in 1997.
"..... how can we move a finger to preserve ourselves from death, in a world in which love is provoked only by falsehood, and consists merely in our need to see our sufferings appeased by the person who has made us suffer?..." Marcel Proust.
In 1978 Lenkiewicz exhibited his eighth project in the 'Relationships Series' on the theme of Jealousy. The original notes were stolen during a lecture that he gave, and have never surfaced. His thesis generally, was that Jealousy takes three, envy takes two. That 'Jealousy' was a natural disorder brought about by aesthetic withdrawal. If the original addiction measured 5% then the withdrawal would be 5%. If it measured 90% then the withdrawal was 90%.
High level withdrawals, particularly for the young, were very difficult to deal with. Lenkiewicz also noted that the vagrant alcoholics he had become involved with, had a term that they employed for the third or fourth time they had withdrawn from alcohol. They called it a "shit and a shave". It appeared to be easier to withdraw as repetition went on. Lenkiewicz wrote,
"Perhaps the 'lover' operated with a similar physiology. The visceral sensations experienced by the jealous lover, torment and isolate with remarkable clarity. "
Lenkiewicz did not subscribe to the notion that some people were more susceptible to jealousy than others, any more than he subscribed to the notion that some starving people were more hungry than others. He saw the process as purely physiological, and that the loss of certain aesthetic 'packages' can create severe, even lethal deprivations. The idea that jealousy is a reaction to trespass on property was an inadequate notion. Certain jealousies call forth sympathy and others, ridicule.
Clearly jealousy arises when there is a challenge to a special relationship. But it becomes clear that the relationship need not be 'special' at all. Entirely unexpected areas of 'aesthetic addiction' can be called up in an atmosphere of loss. The 'Woman walking away' series gave expression to the 'to love is to live in fear of loss' thesis. Further enquiries into the bits/sections/parts of a partner that elicited passions, clarified the possibility that the partner was relevant only in so far as he/she 'sparked off' the long tunnel of aesthetic addictions the lover has entered. Above all, it seemed to Lenkiewicz that the claim that the 'lover' makes on behalf of their partner, viz: that they are concerned for their welfare independently of the 'lover's' own needs is irrationally eccentric.
Images like 'Woman Walking Away', 'Man and Woman Screaming at Memories in the Dark', 'Man holding Woman's Dress Watching her Walk Away', 'Her previous lover disguised as a curtain, watching her with the new one', ... indicate that human viscera has an independent intelligence in these matters. Jealousy was a study of physiology in which the power of aesthetics came fully into focus.