I tend not to explain my artwork too much, as I like to let others take from it what they wish. A recent customer appreciated this, but was curious and asked me to write what my miniature paintings meant to me.
If you too are curious, please feel free to read on! Please note this is unedited from what I sent to my customer.
Power, Dominance and Serenity (I, II, III)
You are right in that I tend to cover some of the deeper meanings of my work with lighthearted humour. Not everyone understands that I have serious concepts behind such seemly funny and jokey pieces of art. Therefore it is easier sometimes to play on the oddity and uniqueness of the work and laugh about it. However, of course, for one I would never have got a good degree on purely humorous art! And secondly my work does hold many a serious message for myself. Everyone who looks at art work takes something different from it, and sometimes I am reluctant to indulge viewers on the heavy concepts of my works as I’d rather they found something in it for themselves.
But, I shall indulge you as best I can.
I have always had a strange fascination with depicting the human body in my work. I loved drawing faces, hands, feet and eyes from a very young age. And as I grew into my teens practically every single piece of art I created was of nude women. I think it stemmed from the hatred of my own body when I began growing into puberty. Nudity, sex, pornography and all things related have always been a fascinating subject for me. I have struggled personally with different aspects of the above, therefore all of my work is like a form of therapy for me. Being able to ooze my emotions, thoughts and feelings out into pieces of art is an amazing ability that I feel blessed to be able to do.
In these oval pieces I wanted to show the delicateness of the female form. She’s soft and peaceful within. This, juxtaposed with the hardness of the man showing off his greatest weapon which can be the strongest form of intimidation for women, creates an odd combination of feminine and masculine imagery. Odd but fascinating… Is it the male being encased in femininity? Loosing his masculine power? Or is it the sex-driven male thrusting himself into the serenity of the delicate and peaceful landscape? That is an open question I don't have an answer to.
The time taken to produce each piece may seem strange for an image of an erect penis, which in the grand scheme of things is so fleeting in the moment. But I hope to reflect a sense of romanticism within my paintings through the concentrated technicality and traditional style of painting. These miniatures also convey a feeling of love and care which are blatantly missing from the crudeness of the men’s photographs of themselves. Bringing feminine and masculine together in one small intimate painting brings up a question of dominance. Which sex dominates? The strong man is pictured in the foreground, but being surrounded by blossomed flowers and a succulent landscape almost takes the power away from the masculinity of the erect penis. And really, everyone knows the woman has the upper hand in the bedroom. Women hold the key. Maybe men aren’t as dominant as they would seem.
Also I was trying to take the intimidation and seediness away from the erect penis. It is a beautiful form. It plays a part in creating life, creating love, and the most intimate experiences. Perhaps it should be celebrated more. Women’s breasts and vaginas have been depicted a thousand times over from the old masters to modern day art work. Penises are less displayed, and so painting them in my work gives viewers an opportunity to debate, to discuss and to talk freely (behind the excuse of art work) of so many subjects which in everyday life they may feel uncomfortable talking about. Or just the fact that the opportunity for the conversation to go that way may not occur. Any conversation people are shy to talk about are the most important types of conversation, I think.
The size of the painting is just as important as the painting itself. Having to view the intricacy of the paintings up-close means one has to really stop, look and study. You cannot simply stand at one end of the room and see it on the other, quickly able to avert your eyes if you so choose. The tiny detailed work forces a creation of an intimate experience between viewer and subject.
I always think that a good piece of art evokes an emotion. It doesn’t matter at all what kind of emotion one feels when looking. But as long as they feel something then the art has done it’s job. It has made them think. I hope that in all my art work I make people feel things.