THE STORY BEHIND IT
It’s an opinion of mine that art doesn’t have to be complicated or have an agenda. It doesn’t need to hide behind a story or premise. It should exist on its own terms, whatever that may be, and be allowed to live on a level it feels comfortable with. As everything is open to interpretation I guess this means we can choose to read whatever we want into anything. Perhaps then it’s the context into which art is presented that defines its position and purpose.
With How Far Jerusalem (named after a song by British rock band Magnum) the shaping, colour scheme and application is perhaps open to more interpretation than most I have done recently. Part of this is down to the relative simplicity of its construction. In many ways I’m not really giving you a whole lot to go on if you’re searching for some kind of narrative. And of course this is entirely deliberate.
Instead of all that complicated business that goes with a painting I’ve chosen to give you a clean, linear and complimentary composition that actually shouldn’t have an agenda or narrative at all. What I wanted to do with this was to take all that away and let the individual components speak for themselves by just being allowed to be. To exist without context or reason.
Stay with me…
The net result of removing substance is freedom. The painting, in all its gold and black loveliness, is sympathetically tempered by that giant cascade of off-white through the centre. It’s a balance thing you see. That’s why we have black on either edge and gold and copper opposing them. There are a lot of balancing elements in this painting. That helps it remain calm and give you a level playing field on which to judge it.
From a technical perspective one of the things that’s most noticeable is the apparent thinning of paint in a few key areas. It’s a technique that involves applying and removing (chemically) layers of paint to reveal the canvas weave underneath. Now whilst this may seem like a cop-out let me reassure you that it gives a fabulous ghost-like effect and feels like I’m looking at someone’s DNA profile. What this also does is allow the thicker paint layers to stand out when light hits it. I love adding these subtle layering effects to my work. It’s something that’s very difficult to show with a camera.
So the colours are going to suit spaces where neutrals are present or anything that contains a significant amount of white. Wood and marble will show this off perfectly too. I personally think that if you’re searching for something that stands out but also fits in then this should be on your short list.
Listen to ‘How Far Jerusalem’ by Magnum