2007 - 2008
There is a seventeenth century Italian painting in The National Gallery in London of a dead soldier lying flat on his back in a barren landscape. Once erroneously attributed to Velasquez, it was much admired by Edouard Manet, who used the composition for his painting 'The Dead Toreador'.
Initially unaware of this connection, I had often visited the gallery simply to see this painting and similarly used the composition for a series of paintings of contemporary models. The format was ambiguous; is the subject dead or resting? It was isolating and allowed for a good critical distance from the subject. The ostensibly vulnerable pose actually dominates the space of the painting and becomes an example of passive power.
Over the years I have returned again and again to this format.
Several of these paintings of life size subjects and accompanying drawings were exhibited in a one man show in May 2007 at:
'La Viande' Gallery
3 Charlotte Road