Artist’s statement

In this current series of paintings, I am trying to convey the carnal and bestial nature we as humans are dealt with in day to day life. Through stripping the human form to it’s bare, fleshy structure, the paintings are pushing away from the transcendence and glorification of humanity within portraiture and appraise our animalistic nature. With the application of lard mixed into the paint, there is not only a viscous, globular mass representation of flesh, but as the lard is made of animal fat it adds a sense of substance to the figure. The fact the paint never dries, married with the gravitiational effects on the painting when hung is a reflection on the ever changing state of the human form.


Formative Assessment



Georg Baselitz

2015-12-05-baselitz-arsenale-venice-e1431433604441When visiting the Venice Biennale, there was a wide variety of artworks that allowed me to question the concept and process of my own work, however the works of Georg Baselitz is something that resonated with me. Due to the paintings being of such grand proportions, the viewer was allowed to focus more primarily on the application of paint. Although the series of portraits appear flat, the thickness of paint onto the canvas becomes strongly apparent, with thickly applied contrasting skin tones varying among each part of the body. I was particularly interesting in the choice of hanging the pose upside down, as it allows to viewer to approach the works without becoming too attached to the figure, but becoming more concerned with the flow of paint onto canvas.


The choice of colours used in Baselitz’s series, and relation to background colour and space is something I am particularly interested in achieving in my own work, and although the viscosity of Baselitz’s paintings is something I am trying to achieve in my work, I feel that I would like to approach my painting with more of a textural flesh-like quality as opposed to the running fluidity seen in this series.

Francis Bacon

As one of the leading artists to portray the human condition, Francis Bacon portrait gives us an insight into the human mind and the fragility of the human form. We see his paintings as almost fragmented and broken, allowing carnal tones which push the painting towards man becoming meat. Through foreboding colours married with contortions in the bodily form with dislocated jaws torn apart we get a real insight to the distorted psychological state of the human condition. The disfigurement of the form in my opinion gives reflection on the human fear of the unknown, as the bodies are contorted, trying to look around itself, whilst Bacon also achieves removing the transcendency of the Pope Innocent X by painting him in such a warped manner.


In my own work I am trying to strip the notion of the human mind being transcendent of all beings, and the way it has been portrayed in portraiture. Once observing Bacon’s work, I am  keen to express this frontality that the human form has with regards to sensory organs being situated at the front of the body, and attempt to portray the form with the fears of anxiety  and of the unknown after seeing how bacon questions the psychological state of being human and brings it into the spotlight.

francis-bacon-screaming-popeThe way Bacon uses line in order to dictate the space of the figure is something I intend to show in my own work. By situating the body within a cubed space, there is a strong relationship between the body and the pictorial plane on which it sits upon, something I intend to reflect upon in my own work.

Bacon 2