September 2, 2021.

Since February I have been researching and writing the life and work of On Kawara. I had a bit of 'non-discouragement' from the One Million Years Foundation (the artist's Estate) at the beginning, but since then no word from them. Which means I can go on reproducing his work, the copyright for which must be a hugely grey area. Can you copyright the painting of a date? What parts of the painting would be copyrightable?

Six months into this and I know I've chosen the right subject. Enid Blyton, Evelyn Waugh, George Shaw
and now On Kawara. That is a list of very independent-minded creatives. I've a feeling it all adds up to something but am not confronting that possibility for now. It's not time.

Instead, I'm excitedly working through On's highly productive, mature years. That is from 1966 to 1979, when, at the age of 46, there came a watershed in his life. Currently, I have reached 1975. Once I've edited an essay on Evelyn Waugh that I've been asked to do by
Valet, I'll be returning to that point in On Kawara's life where he allowed a photo of himself to be taken while painting: JAN.1,1975. Mind you, it was a back view.

Concurrently, I'm bearing in mind where I am in my own life, and how my interest in On Kawara began back in 1992. That's what part two is about. This means that the work has a structure that takes the reader from On Kawara's life to my own, from a simple timeline to a more complex one.

Should a biographer not keep a distance from his subject, so as not to muddy the waters? That would be a distinctly old-fashioned approach. Subjectivity is all. Which isn't to say that objectivity is not everything. Objectivity
is everything.

Look: I have turned into that little old monk from Hospitalfield. Despite all the distractions of the postmodern world, I knew I could do it if I kept my eye on the ball, my finger on the pulse.