Experimentation and Colonial Kitsch

Recently I’ve been making Pinocchio paintings on the theme of masculinity and transformation for the Instinct #3 exhibition. Those are all done now, and I’m surprised how liberated I feel that I can do some proper chaotic experimentation again.

I think that shows in the over painting I’ve been doing on old abandoned paintings of mine. Today I did more of that. I don’t know why, but a visual theme of colonial kitsch came out in these paintings. Something to do with the black and white animal skins.


170306a Black White Fish on Blue (2017) oil on canvas 24 x 26cm

I painted the blue background months ago. I was going to try making a Tomery Dodge type painting, but then I couldn’t be bothered. Painting black and white on top of the colour was interesting again.

Then I put two similarly sized unwanted paintings next to each other and painted one image over the two canvases. I did this so that I could think differently about composition. I also painted the image upside down.


170306b Tiger in Two (2017) oil on canvas 31 x 23.5cm


170306c Tiger in Two (2017) oil on canvas 31.5 x 23.5cm

When I removed the masking tape, the edges of the original colour paintings showed (below).


170306b&c Tiger in Two (2017) oil on canvas, two parts

Below is the whole process, starting with the two old colour paintings.


170306b&c Tiger in Two (2017) in progress

I masked off this old painting (below) so that it would show around the edge of the new picture I painted on top. Again, I painted the image upside down.


170306d Colonial Kitsch Androgyne (2017) in progress

When I turned the picture “right” way up, I liked how androgynous the face looked. That added an unexpected queer aspect to the picture, on top of the Orientalism. Composition continues to be a big problem, but I really enjoyed painting upside down and probably will try it again.


170306d Colonial Kitsch Androgyne (2017) oil on canvas 61.5 x 60cm


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