It’s a tribute to the man and his music, as he died last year. His rapping performance style and politicised poems/songs were important to me.
I was lucky enough to see him perform at the Hacienda in the 90’s.
At first glance there isn’t much to link the soul of the man to my print, but as with all my works, there are pointers that reference the subject matter. Gil was a skinny black guy with a big afro and his early album covers have that 70’s sepia look. So when trying to portray him I’ve used a quite earthy palette with a bold shot of red- red being synonymous with left wing politics.
I made it in 2013 at Leicester Print workshop and completed it in my kitchen -even though it’s a very small edition, it took me nine hours over two days to produce.
I printed the first four colours on day one. Initially it wasn't masculine enough - so I took it home and overprinted everything with a deep umber colour, which gave the image more complexity, lastly I added a repeating arch shape in a rich blue colour on the edges - then it was something worth looking at.
Screenprinting pigment on Fabriano Rosapina paper