Saturday, 9 November 2013

Trapped Batman no.5

Here is the recently completed penultimate painting in the 'Trapped Batman' series.  The use of polythene is a callback to 'Secret Identity' and other bag-based series but this time it is stretched tightly over the model.  With this series I have been trying to extend my vocabulary of devices which can hold a subject to a vertical surface.  Each of these new devices - string, parcel tape, masking tape, netting, elastic bands, stretched polythene, could be explored further in future paintings.  Working with these new devices has reminded me of the initial impulse to use bags back in 2007: I had a desire to make still life paintings that could work in a contemporary context and not look 'old masterish'.  This meant that traditional still life settings such as the shelf and the table were out.  For a time the idea of objects seen from above seemed viable but ultimately I wanted to make a space that was continuous with that of the gallery so the idea of a bagged object hanging from a hook (initially on pegboard) turned out to be a good solution.  In a way the 'Trapped Batman' series is a range of alternative solutions to the same problem.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Trapped Batman no.4

Pictured above is my recently completed painting 'Trapped Batman no.4', one of a (nearly finished) series of six pieces. Each painting in the series has a similar premise: a Batman model is secured on a wooden board by means of various everyday, office-type devices. The first three pieces in the series featured string, parcel tape and netting while the final two will feature polythene and masking tape. When I started this series late last year I was motivated by the entertainingly absurd (to me) image of the great superhero held at bay by such pathetic means. Now that I am approaching the completion of the series the focus has shifted somewhat in my mind and I find myself thinking about a possible fictional scenario within which these set-ups may have been made. Are they the inventions of a bored fanboy office worker playing at his desk with his Batman figure and his stationery supplies? When I think about the images that I make I nearly always come back to the thought of two worlds coming together: the exotic / fantastic and the everyday / banal. I have lots of thoughts as to why this dichotomy occurs so frequently and will perhaps explore them in posts to come.