My passion for painting began more than 30 years ago and continues with this series of portraits that I started in 2012. These works were born from the theme of this series which is titled “Friends, Heroes and Wankers”. The paintings project the philosophy and attitudes of my various subjects, and the goal is to bring new perspectives to these individuals that have become known through their own intellect and accomplishments. In this particular case it was the primary inspiration for me applying paint to canvas.
The quotes painted on the portraits were chosen to reflect this inspiration but not necessarily as a means to communicate or convince others of their meaning. As Oscar Wilde wrote in his preface to The Picture of Dorian Grey, "those who seek meaning below the surface do so at his own peril". Yet because painting is a completely solitary and selfish act, it allows me - as an artist - to express myself onto canvas in a free yet concentrated manner, abandoning any preconceived notions of who I am. Time has given me the freedom to extract what I can from these philosophies, it makes perfect sense to me to reflect these meanings with formal portraiture while obscuring the lines with the words of the subject or in some case as a tribute to the subject. Art is subjective, and as such I leave it up to the viewer to decide in which category of my theme each subject falls.
My painting is an existential part of my being, not unlike the great and not so great artists that have preceded me. To execute in the formal manner of a portraitist while blatantly obscuring the image by underlining the philosophy of my art with the utilization of the subject’s words underscores both the meaning and the depth I strive to communicate. What the viewer derives from this effort will hopefully be thoughtful, and if so, then the effort will have even better succeeded.