I paint men. My artwork is deeply personal and I place these men in a surreal setting and give them the personalities and personas of men and women I know.
I take a critical view in my work of psychological issues such as anxiety and the lack of ability to be resilient or the power to be so.
I deconstruct this emotional state of anxiety within a painting, in this painting Aurélien Beauvais, the sense of anxiety is revealed visually using sour colours that clash such as red, green, blue, yellows and pinks to portray dismay and worry on his face.
His lower body shows his legs in mid stride, morphed into the body of a bird. The bird is trapping his legs as a metaphor for his inability to change.
I use elements such as the American dream, illustrations from 19th century fairy tale books, nursery rhymes, and lullabies that are part of our childhood and adult culture to contrast or reveal the psychological state of the men in my paintings. For example using a theme of anguish and birds from the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Twelve Swans”.
Having relationships with a variety of men as diverse as healers, boyfriends, fathers, lovers and frenemies, my work reproduces familiar visual signs, arranging them into new conceptually layered pieces.
Often times these themes of various psychological states are combined into paintings that feature animals, birds, exaggerated body parts and empty backgrounds. The backgrounds are painted as open spaces , as psychological voids juxtaposed with a realistic depiction of a man’s face and body and often embellished with saturated, joyful colours.
In the painting Prosecco Keeps a Cool Head, the whitish-yellow color of a halo around my protagonist’s (Prosecco’s) head establishes a dream-like surreal quality that suggests notions of calmness and safety, and grace under massive pressure (depicted visually as chaotic patterns). The colours and pattern formally unifies the disproportionate exaggerated shoulders of Prosecco.
Visual symbols such as birds provide clues to content and interpretation.
While I do not use a variety of processes in each project my methodology is consistent.
My portraits are of psychologically complex men striving for achievement throughout their lifetime whether it be emotional or career fulfillment, wealth, love or security.
Although there may not always be material similarities between the different paintings of men, they are linked by recurring formal concerns (realism, bright or harmonious colours) and through the subject matter. The psychological state of the man, determines the materials and the forms of the work.
Each project often consists of a slim man, often in a range of different emotions, grouped around specific themes and meanings. I grew up with three (3) sisters and I was not close to them. However, my father was the opposite of these women and treated me with loving kindness.
Hence why I choose to focus my artistic practice on men.
During research and production new areas of interest arise and lead to the next body of work.