This painting is also looking to comments flying around in the early 90s saying “Painting is Dead” This ugly little comment still rears it’s ignorant head every now and again, but I couldn’t put this comment farther from the truth. Painting is well and truly alive and flourishing in some new and wonderful ways.
A friend also pointed out the title referenced a book he had read where with the pulling down of many of these 60s tower blocks likened Modernism to have failed in social housing. The book is Charles Jenks, “The Language of Post-Modern Architecture” – The Death of the Concept. I can’t quote this as I haven’t read it, but intend to do some research there.
I believe John Lennon was right in saying all you need is love.
The painting is set in a Post War torn apocalyptic world. There are so many films that encapsulate this landscape as our future, I’m curious if it’s not somewhere been logged in our subconscious that this will turn out to be our future. “What you think about becomes your reality” Dr Wayne Dyer.
A Chimpanzee has taken a young Tiger cub down into the foundations of a fallen in building, hiding from the ferocious Arctic winds that prevail above, Karuna, ultimate love.
(The image of the Chimpanzee and the White Tiger cub is a real image taken from a zoo in America, you can see nothing but love in the face of the adoring primate, its quite uplifting and shows real love between species)
Her mask represents humans as animals and in her hand a mobile phone rings saying Gaia Answer, Gaia the mythological mother of earth is in pain and needs some love and attention. All around her, she is surrounded by knowledge - books and a laptop. On one of the books rests a magnifying glass to show scrutiny of knowledge.
The tiller is choice, which direction do we take? With out the tiller we are a rudderless ship. But we do have knowledge and we do have choice.
The cranes branded with western Television companies (American and British) has multiple connotations; one being how the media has shown the world what is happening to these poor civilians, killed by there fellow country men.
The other, more sinister, is that is it the West has invaded this area to claim the Oil in the land for itself? The TV corporations representing there nations, and also the possibility where the media has helped in manipulating the public to find this war virtuous?
Still the American government has done nothing to help these people. A government who still even today believe they can fight Ideas with guns.
We live on a finite planet and we are not living in balance with it.
Penultimatum is a term I have created to describe a Modernity where Capitalism as our possible penultimate all encompassing philosophy could be our ultimatum.
The large brain represents bio genetics where a group of scientists have created a huge mind to answer questions on how to change the way we are living. Above them a glass structure acts as a barrier designed on the tiara from the statue of liberty, referencing American ideals of “The American Dream”, plagued by materialism.
The amber and green lights of the office windows represent a traffic light system of capitalist society. This “get ready ... Go” Ideology is the life we lead, always on the move, never pausing to stop and think. At the very top a blood stained window represents the exploited, (the only stop on this traffic light system)the hundreds of slave labourers who toil for very little to make the novelty crap that the west feels it needs to have to be happy.
The painting is a warning. For I do believe we live in the time of Penultimatum.
Maybe Critical Realism could be our all encompassing progressive philosophy.
Instead of Adam and Eve we have a Gorilla and a blond stereotype, “The Babe”. The couple are confronted by the horns of the Devil (Taken from Blake). Eve drops the apple in shock and a sandy desert enshrines there garden paradise. There is still one more apple to be taken though. The apple of choice... of scientific persuasion perhaps?
This satire's intentions are to challenge Chrstian notions of the birth of mankind. I want the painting to act as an attack to the incredible ignorance and nievity of Preachers and teachers who teach this as absolute.
Karma is mostly seen in Buddhist practices as what you do now effects you latter (Or in another life time). For instance if you eat to much, will will most probably gain a lot of weight. If you go out to much you will inevitably be incredibly tired. The aim is balance. The same can be looked at for anger and hatred.
This painting looks at giving into hatred and aggression and how it inevitably leads to more of this behaviour if unconsidered and left to fester. Think of the old saying "He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword"
The teenage chav (the burberry cap) is roasting a cat on an open fire, the Gargoyle behind him is the representation of Karma on his actions, by taking this path of killing he is more likely to do it again and eventually become a different person because of his actions. What we choose to do in life effects who we will become.
This painting came to me in a dream in Valencia in Spain. The Gargoyle (actually known as a Grotesque, as I found out from watching QI last night) is from a huge statue in the city, I guess it effected my subconscious more than I realised.
The five knights represent elements of personality traits we can use to combat fear. left to right
This painting is looking to life, birth, death and the fragility of all life.
The Mothers Horse mask represents humans as animals. As has been a recurrence in the work since the influence of John Gray's Straw Dogs.
The image is in homage to Goya prints of the Caprichos.
A car bomb explodes somewhere in the Middle East where a man runs for his life while two angels look down on the scene, one angry, one sadned by what has happened here.
This painting did look to homosexuality, religion and how the Christian church did not allow gay men and women to marry.
Just after the painting was shown at the Foundry Gallery on Old St, the law was changed. I'm sure the painting didn't influence any decision, yet its a nice synchronicity.
The sister painting to Straw Dogs
Critical Realist work is to make work about our own interests and concerns, during this time I have watched many documentaries read quite a few books on religion and am curious where this course of work will lead me.
After the Tsunami which hit Phuket during Christmas 2004, This man was saved by a helicopter, he survived the tsunami by standing on the roots of an upturned tree. He stated he prayed to God to save his life and his calls were answered.
I am fascinated by God and religion, I find it difficult to have any faith in religion as I see a history in which religion is responsible for a lot of wars, death and suffering on this planet, especially when the aim is so far from this. As Critical Realism is a research method, religion is one area I will concentrate on highly in my work. Critical Realism will deal with looking to the difficult to answer questions and the thought processes mankind assumes to survive in the world. Religion and Politics have always been put to one side in polite conversation, Critical Realism aims at provoking polite conversation, to attain higher knowledge and in the end truth, as far as truths exist anyway.