Meet my current muse, the rubber monster finger puppet…
I’ve been looking for excuses to paint more hands ever since I did the original “Redivivus” series as a way of exploring the Frankenstein story. (Redivivus means “to come back to life”.) I liked the challenge both of paintings hands (beautiful but tricky) and the idea of creating a portrait that didn’t include a face, or even a body. What kind of tales could I tell with only a disembodied hand that had a cheeky habit of getting loose in the laboratory and going off on various adventures?
Out of this idea was born these four paintings, culminating in the hand eventually finding true love…
Simply put: I love hands. I really do. I’m fascinated by looking them, apparently I fling mine around quite a lot when I talk, and I always check them out in other people’s art. When I was at the Louvre in October I ended up snapping over fifty pictures just of the hands in various old master paintings…
So when I was asked to do something for the “Taetrum & Dulce” (Creepy & Cute) show at MondoPop Gallery in Rome, Italy, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to revisit the hand and see what it might have been up to. Originally I was going to paint it meeting a little mouse (who would bring the “cute” to the “creepy”), but I needed a stand-in for my reference, so I grabbed this little monster finger puppet and sewed an antique iron key into his rubbery arms with some red thread (otherwise he simply would not hold it properly). Why a key? Because they’re nifty symbols of knowledge, mystery, and curiosity.
But somewhere along the way, as is often the case with art and muses, I realized I didn’t want it to be a mouse anymore. I had kind of fallen in love with the little guy, which is when I decided to wave a magic wand over him like the Blue Fairy in “Pinocchio” and make him a real little monster with proper legs and feet, and let him be the star of the story.
“Muses work all day long and then at night get together and dance.” — Edgar Degas
The show opens next month in Rome, if you happen to be out that way check it out — many fab artists including Nouar, Tiffany Liu, Jana Brike, Edward Robin Coronel, Richard Frost, Buddy Nestor, Charlie Immer, Jason D’Aquino, Macsorro, Jaw Cooper, Julian Callos, Jessica Ward, Apricot Mantle, Felipe Bedoya, Luis Lorenzana, Jittagarn Kaewtinkoy, Dan Barry, Diavù, Nicola Alessandrini, Allegra Corbo, Odö, Sebastien Nassiet Saldubehere aka Malojo, Cesko, Victor Castillo, Morg, Chris Mars, Isabel Samaras, Paola Sala, and Marco About.
“Taetrum & Dulce”
Opens Dec. 10, 2011
Via Dei Greci 30