Friday, June 27, 2008

Papal Latex Pussycat

I've finished another of my Dangerous Career Babes – this one a dominatrix, although her role is somewhat ambiguous because a chain leads from a manacled, latex-clad leg to an unseen voyeur beyond a gold-rimmed keyhole. This has been one of the easiest to draw but not to finish, as there's more detail than others in the series. I also changed my mind a couple of times about the colours, see-sawing between severe monochromaticism (not really suited to these works) and rich, lushly decadent colors inspired by the ceremonial vestments of Roman Catholic cardinals (historically, a very decadent bunch).
I'm always surprised how much inspiration I derive from the Catholic Church, perhaps because its rituals and places of worship are ornate and theatrical and it comes with an eccentric retinue of saints, angels, demons, miraculous virgins, aesthetes, hermits, prophets, martyrs, redeemed whores, mystic visionaries, radical converts, heretics and sinners – many of them served by artists who were themselves one or all of these. It began when I first researched the syncretic Afro-Christian beliefs of voodoo and santeria for my first watercolours, three years ago, and even though I'm unlikely to become a convert, its influence insinuates itself into my work in all sort of unexpected ways.

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