Anteus & Heracles (after Cranach)
Lucretia (after Cranach)
Venus (after Cranach)
A Moral Compass (triptych)
This work is a triptych of paintings inspired by the works of Cranach the Elder, a German Renaissance painter whose naive figurative stylings I find particularly appealing. His preoccupation with mythological and religious imagery succinctly demonstrates the power of visual art in times of widespread illiteracy. Cranach was also a friend of Martin Luther (who’s moral outrage at the corrupt Catholic Church led to a new branch of Christianity).
The paintings are made on a surface of 1980s comics, which may be considered morality tales in themselves. Comics provide simple stories of good versus evil, echoing the framework of the society they represent – Judeao/Christian moral landscape which in many ways remains unchanged since the Renaissance.
I have denied the figures their beauty by replacing their heads with skulls. A reminder that all of us are born condemned to die, that corporality is always hiding just beneath our skin. For those who believe in an ‘afterlife’, how we conduct ourselves inside our fleshy vessels impacts greatly on what happens after death.
I have placed the paintings in frames of my own construction, embedded with other signifiers of childhood moral gameplay; marbles, toy soldiers and cowboys & indians and other drossy ephemera.