Portraiture and life painting have been my favoured subjects for a number of years. In early 2013 I decided to revisit my “Relationships Series” of paintings, and it has since become the main focus of my work.
I have always been interested in the relationship between the artist, the model and the viewer. The “Relationships Series” evolved from a number of figure studies that I was working on from 2005. With this work I have attempted to explore the relationships between two figures within a composition, in both a spatial and an emotional sense, whilst also looking at the idea of nudity, as compared with nakedness or self-consciousness. I became fascinated with how the addition of a second figure within a composition transforms these relationships, often introducing a sense of nakedness – compelling the viewer to install a narrative (often with a sexual element), regardless of the Artist’s design; the emotional or psychological relationship between the figures almost writes itself.
My recent work has required me to employ the services of a number of professional “Internet Models”, as it was no longer feasible to rely on friends and family to pose. I must admit to being amazed at the professionalism and ambition of these young women; trying to earn a living and pursue their dreams, whilst working within the murkier, unregulated side of the industry – in what I would consider could be a hazardous working environment, without the comfort or security of working for an agency. They have been fascinating subjects for my work, and the figure studies that I have completed since 2013, including the recent “Relationships Series” paintings, I would now consider very much as a series of portrait studies of this group of young models. I had even pondered re-naming the paintings as such – “Portrait of an Internet Model”.