Figurative

I started painting in 1988, an age of Conceptual Art and seismic changes politically.  Painting was seen as artistically passé and irrelevant, a sedentary graduate, even ‘dead’.

 

I remained ambivalent and preoccupied with resolving the end of Sovietism, Apartheid, the Berlin Wall and Iron Curtain, and what would be their replacement.  But my influences, positive as well as negative and contradictory, couldn’t be resolved.  Picasso and Hurst?  Greer and Kundera? Bikowski and Saatchi? 

 

So I decided to break a few taboos in my painting.  I was elated to find Communist Soviet regimes in the free fall and decided to juxtapose ‘Soviet Realist’ art with women who didn’t fit easily into western feminist criteria.  Tongue in cheek, I painted nude men and women, rendered cumbersome and desexualised by Socialist Realism to be ridiculed by Tracy Emin.  Sacrilege!  “Make Tracy Emin the Soviet Minister of Culture” I was shamelessly saying.  The trouble was, I took myself seriously!

 

But I was finding by figurative voice, tackling ideas and concepts, and it stared a process that took 15 years to finally jettison my political zeal.  Art had replaced politics – perhaps that was my intention all along. I also took the view that I was slowly letting go of having to control Images, a process that I’m still aware of undertaking.  But is my work figurative or abstract?  You decide!

Sale of Paintings:  All original paintings on sale for £1000.  Contact me for details. 

© 2019 Stephen Hornsby-Smith

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