Keane: the wine stain paintings – tempus fugit – v 3.0

Keane: the wine stain paintings – tempus fugit

Usually if some red wine is spilt on a white tablecloth then people immediately reach for the salt or fizzy water in an attempt to stop the red wine from staining the cloth.

Time is of the essence, as any delay in removing the spilt wine can mean a mark on the white surface which becomes more difficult to remove.

According to Keane there is sometimes almost a hidden beauty to be seen in the result of that kinetic action of the wine inadvertently splashed and spread across the white surface.

He has just completed a series of work which attempts to recreate that unhappy/happy accident using red wine in place of the paint and and a series of square blank canvases instead of the white tablecloth.

The resulting images have then been fixed with clear varnish to keep oxidation at bay for as long as possible but gradually over time these images will change but until then it is possible to sit back and spend some time with the wine stains which normally it is not possible to do.



Tempus fugit is usually translated into English as “time flies”. The expression comes from line 284 of book 3 of Virgil’s Georgics, where it appears as fugit inreparabile tempus: “it escapes, irretrievable time”. The phrase is used in both its Latin and English forms as a proverb that “time’s a-wasting”.

Tempus fugit, however, is typically employed as an admonition against sloth and procrastination (cf. carpe diem) rather than a motto in favor of licentiousness (cf. “gather ye rosebuds while ye may”); the English form is often merely descriptive: “time flies like the wind”, “time flies when you’re having fun”.



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