Wednesday, 18 September 2013

United Colours of...

While I try and work out how to migrate my website to a new host, keeping one eye on a BBC documentary about painter Jonathan Yeo, I thought it was time I uploaded my latest portrait ...of the great Nelson Mandela.

This was started on Mandela's 95th birthday and finished about 10 days ago. Mandela was a flamboyant, mischievous and larger than life character who deserves to be remembered in that way, rather than a weak hospitalised old man. The Kisbyism treatment suits him well, if I don't say so myself.

In fact I feel like I need to break all my recent Kisbyism rules to date and, dare I say, paint a very large version. Artists generally paint things on a grand scale to add artificial importance to their work (art students in particular will do this in the weeks before their final assessments). But even from a distance of 60cm this small image of Madiba begins to break up into crude brushstrokes and a larger size would not only befit such a great man, it would also give the opportunity to make the strokes of paint into objects with their own tangible presence.

In the meantime I'm being encouraged to produce T-shirts of this image, by everyone from my close relatives to the gas meter reader!

'United Colours of Madiba'
acrylic on canvas
30 x 40 x 1.5cm