Summative Post: DocumentationPosted: May 17, 2015
My work aims to tackle the very meaning of the word evil and its place among st society. Following a heavy influence from Luc Tuymans’ Gaskamer I look to normalise evil through the practice of painting so much so that the viewer can relate to it on a human level. Throughout history, evilness has been associated with the cruelest among us and the intention of my work is to confront the audience with the idea that we are all capable of evil acts, therefore it can only be seen as a common human trait. This sense of the work antagonising the viewer is highlighted with the simplistic, banner-like display which has been deliberately set up to provoke a feeling of realisation and perhaps unease.
The pieces are produced from carefully chosen photographs of scenes that can be considered classically evil. They depict periods of time in which evilness has thrived amongst the masses. Ranging from the rise of the Nazi regime right to the current upsurge of ISIS, as well as a scene of soldiers from the Serbo-Croatian War. They are painted in such a way that the evil is absent. This is done through a playful painterly style which is supposed to make these wicked figures seem somewhat normal.
This was the first set of paintings I done in which I tried to normalise the evil. At this point I chose to use subject matter that was obviously evil, in this case it was a gangster scene. This was an important painting in terms of depicting evilness within figurative scene.
During a tutorial early in the year I was advised to look at evilness in the current time as the ISIS beheadings were constantly in the news. This lead me to do a lot of research and do a couple of painted studies of events over there, such as the hostage scene. This interest in ISIS ultimately lead to one of my degree show main pieces.
This smaller study of my Nazi youth image was a big turning point as at this point I had done a lot of A1 paintings but I was not happy with them. This was the first piece that I was very happy with, which led onto my first final degree show piece and to me working on a much larger scale.
This came at a point when I had finished my first main piece and I was stuck on what I was going to do next. I was advised to look again at current affairs which led me to the attacks in Paris. Here I was trying to make the pieces more painterly in style and I was using a more childlike approach. This is turn was something that I incorporated into my two final degree show main pieces.
This painting is of a Nazi propaganda piece. This interest in propaganda inspired where I am right now because for my degree show pieces are displayed in a banner-like fashion. I wanted them to be portrayed in a way that would resemble a propaganda poster.