I must admit to having been, maybe only on rare occasions, one of those men; sitting in a group and ogling women walking past. I do feel ashamed, and a sense of complicity. Perhaps that’s why the male gaze and the #metoo movement have become recurring themes in my recent work; maybe I’m seeking redemption. In my defence, I grew up when Miss World and Benny Hill were primetime family viewing.
I was particularly interested in painting something based on The Judgement of Paris, because it is such an outrageous anachronism in the present moral climate.
Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
I am always amazed with how a painting evolves from just a vague idea into something with a life of its own. I’ve been working on this particular painting for a few months. It has been constantly changing, but I think I may have arrived at the final layout.
The section above has seen the most changes. Originally it just had the settee with the two figures on it, but that left the composition unbalanced. So then I had the idea of adding the Three Graces; or a contemporary equivalent: three archetypal women. I already had an idea for the faces I wanted to give them, but I still had to find a model to pose. This provided me with the sketches at the top for my reference.
But still this little corner of the painting looked a bit empty. And then these two male figures in the background almost inserted themselves. As well as balancing the composition, they also tied up a few loose ends in the narrative.
Art exhibitions are like London buses. I wait months for an opportunity to show my work, and then I receive two acceptance emails in the same morning.
I’ve already mentioned The Discerning Eye in my previous post. I’m very pleased to have been accepted for that one – such a shame that the exhibition is virtual this year. The other exhibition I will be taking part in is The Autumn Salon, from 30th October, hosted by Candid Arts Gallery, Angel, London. That’s a real world exhibition – actual paintings on real walls, with real people walking about (albeit wearing masks, and suitably socially distanced).
I’ve had mixed feelings about getting involved in real exhibitions during this epidemic. However, the gallery at Candid Arts is a lovely open space – perfect for social distancing. At the end of the day, there is just no substitute for seeing a painting in the flesh.
I’m very pleased to learn that my painting “I did not ask” has been accepted into this year’s Discerning Eye exhibition.
The Discerning Eye annual exhibition is a show of small works independently selected by six prominent figures from different areas of the art world: two artists, two collectors and two critics. The selectors choose both publicly submitted works and works by personally invited artists. Each selector’s section is hung separately to give each its own distinctive identity. The impression emerges of six small exhibitions within the whole.
The opening night of “Nude or Fully Clothed” at Nude Tin Can Gallery in St Albans went very well. Very pleased to make a sale, which always puts me in a good mood. But also it was such a well organised event (busy, but not overly crowded), that the whole evening shot by, with plenty of interesting conversations.
I should add that the journey to St Albans was surprisingly easy – less than 30mins on Thameslink from St Pancras. The exhibition continues until the 29th January, and is well worth a visit.