Although small (26x26cm) these conceptual paintings have quite a bite and are based on the philosophical problem of knowledge: i.e. how can we know the difference between appearance and reality when our senses are often inaccurate? How do you really know you are standing/sitting here reading this and not a brain in a vat connected to a computer? (Putnam) How do you know an evil demon is not tricking you? (Descartes) How do you know you are not just watching shadows in a cave? (Plato) Can you be absolutely sure you are not dreaming? Each painting is called “Dog” and a computer chip is part of composition. So, where is the dog? Well, inside the chip of course and, most importantly, inside your imagination! But, can you be sure you are not in the chip and that someone, maybe a dog, is looking at you? “Such fun!” On the back of each painting is the title “Dog” and a further random dog’s character word to describe the dog and tickle your imagination. In Plato's Theory of Forms, objects that are seen are not real, but literally mimic the real “Forms” in the mind. Forms are the most pure of all things. For Plato there is a form for every object or quality in reality: forms of dogs, human beings, mountains, colours, courage, love and goodness. The “Form” is in the mind, not reality. So, think of a dog and have some fun splashing about with a canine or two in a postmodern world of dreams, “malicious demons,” “brains in vats” and virtual reality. A philosophical Crufts, woof, woof!
Acrylic paint and mixed media on canvas, hessian, gravel, computer chips