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Sunday, 25 November 2007

Recurring images

Just did a bit of a hunt through my artworks looking for images that I have used more than a few times. An old recurring image from years ago was a red man standing, seen only from the waist up, facing directly out to the viewer: he was more of a stylised silhouette without a face. The red man has emerged in different forms in many paintings. He has transformed into someone standing in a doorway either silhouetted or fully filled out and described. Also as anonymous people, peeping through windows or crouching in the bush. But one version of the red man has evolved into the camera man.
These close up clips of camera man are from different paintings that were produced over a period of about ten years. The other catalyst for the camera man, besides the red man were two high school photos I took of myself.

One was shot facing the bathroom mirror at home ........

and the other in a shop window that had a display of mirrors.......

The two images below are duplications of the bathroom mirror photo.



This next camera man image was copied from a photo of myself taking a shot through the front window of a car. The window frame of the car's side window has also been incorporated into the painting.

This last camera man is pure invention, but in this case his camera is a real photo of a camera collaged into the drawing.


As I have gone back over my artworks, trying to understand what they mean or just categorising them to set them in some sort of order, I have begun to see patterns, connections and vague themes. To me this is sort of a fun idea, sort of like a puzzle or maze that is building up over a long period of time. As for the meaning of the camera man recurring image, I am not quite sure. But, possibly part of it is about being an artist looking out into the world and looking back out to the viewer. Partly as voyeur and partly as a revolving door - sort of a conduit for the viewer to look into the painting and back out, viewing themselves. This idea reminds me of the film, "Being John Malkovich". There is something disconcerting about staring down the lens of a camera, it's like your looking into your own soul and being scared that other people will see your faults.

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