I am drawn to prostrate figures. I collect them. A photo of Robert Louis Stevenson convalescing and ( when I inspected the photograph with a magnifying glass) playing a chanter.
how cool is Robert Louis Stevenson? What a look he had. Those boots and those baggy jodhpurs, the goatee, the lank hair…one hair appears to have escaped and attached itself to the painting.
Something so appealing about Stevenson. He personifies The traveller and the sick man…he was either on the move or bedridden. He is the ultimate traveller in both senses, actual and imaginative.
It’s a painting made with a wrecked hardened brush. Sometimes as painter its good to be crude, embrace being BAD, to just stick the paint on, to not be too refined. Its like when I’ve seen certain work in real life that I have known in reproduction, like Matisse, Picasso, Munch or even Mondrian I am struck and seduced most of all by the roughness of it, not by some unseen subtleties but often by the in-your-face clear physicality of how it is made..
I was interested here in how much the surface, the marks start to fight the image. The tension you see between picture and painting. Between what it is and how it is.