Inspired by the of transience of evocative images and the necessity of capturing them amongst my own ephemeral memories I create a narrative montage, illustrated literally and metaphorically in fragmented textural layers of paint and paper on canvas.
This was one of the first female icon portraits I completed. There are two things I wanted to do, firstly to celebrate women that aren't remembered/celebrated as much as they should be, particularly in response to the lazy, hackneyed use of Monroe & Hepburn. They now have the equivalent omnipresence of Mickey Mouse or Banksy's Balloon Girl as shallow artistic/cultural signifiers of hip. It also had to do with all them mutable memories and the pleasurable impact of women like Carole, Lucy etc. had on the malforming mind of young GOMACG, and takes me right back to Saturday afternoons, a mug of coffee, a whole packet of biscuits and a Bette Davis double bill on BBC2 No Mummy! I'm not going out to play!! No! Happy days.
Secondly, I wanted to create simplified large-scale portrait stencils around which the rest, whatever that may be, would unfold. It wasn't easy to pick a single image, but this close-up head shot had the unintentional bonus of her giving a sly V-sign before it existed in common usage. Still not popular in America apparently, even though two are better than one. Nothing if not puerile (see also _sign)
I cut out the head shape on heavy lining paper and pasted it onto the canvas laurel and hardyesque, to get a smooth flat surface. The stencil was a large one-off skin-tones painted underneath in advance. The Sure Shot logo waving through her hair down to Mikey Dread comes from an old ska label and there is a Jackie Mittoo tune of the same name and it kind of resonated - screwball - sure shot - Yep, simplicity itself, and of course, she is an absolute angel (lettering off a Camino Del Angel wine label - nothing but a serendipitous magpie picking up what's lying around - empty bottles in this case). For The screwball font - QUICKSILVER - nerds, came from my well-thumbed resource, The Letraset Catalogue 1978 ringbound, 261 pages, 50p at the till, no less, was a single stencil as well, 5 base colours under and 5 colours stencilled through. Interesting, no? I don't know why I'm trying to make this sound extremely precise and difficult work. I guess because the opposite is true, and it's all such damn good fun - when it goes right. Finally, the sketchbook hairy gonzo character book-ends pointy Mikey Dread 2-1 winner, and that is as serious as I get, so XXXX YOU! very much.
That's above the W. in screwball For XXXX sake .
Acrylic, Inks and Mixed media