Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Reconceiving My Art, My Self
I have finished another of my Dangerous Career Babes, painted in oils on canvas. It's a reprise of the cowgirl character that has appeared now and then in my enamel work over the past ten years. More and more, the entire Career Babe series, which I have been painting in one form or another ever since I began my career as an artist, is emerging as a conceptual work rather than a revisiting of 'pop' through references to archetypal advertising and entertainment images of women. More than one critic has noted that when seen together, the Career Babes' disciplined repetition of the same pose in different uniforms, in the same-sized, large fields of bright, glossy colour, have an intellectual and emotional impact that is similar to the repetition of advertising on TV: it's seductive and yet empty and unsettling. In other words, I've managed to create art that, despite its surface allure, replicates the deadening effect of mass media – brittle, vivid beauty that doesn't alleviate boredom but imposes it.My most recent works continue to explore this murky intersection between the traditional concerns of figurative painting and the intellectual polemics of conceptual art. I can already foresee a time when I might stop painting and exhibiting completely for a while in order to produce work that requires no specific space or media to be experienced. I am coming around to the idea that the last bastion of so-called 'real' art might be inside our heads.