In the Wilderness
Updated: Apr 8
With Lost I continue to dabble a little in texture and sparse composition, departing from my tendency to complexity and overload. Here both the ‘characters’ and the artist face horror vacui head-on while trying to look insouciant about it.
In a sense the figures are lost in the wilderness, but can also be described as being lost to time, being obviously ‘retro’; the retro image has a spectral half-life, drifting through culture like a camp vampire. The ‘retro’ image can speak of a knowing superiority with regard to the culturally out-of-time, or of simple prelapsarian nostalgia – ironic taste possibility lies in the tension between these two positions.
Thus, these male figures are at once prehistoric, traditional and ambiguously current (as throwbacks, perhaps, or as a kind of afterlife of certain models of masculinity). They are lost to each other, occupying but not sharing the same space: even (or especially) drinking to oblivion cannot restore whatever might be absent.
For me, the jury is out on this sort of composition. I was pleased with barrel-drinkers trousers though.
Some have spotted nods to Van Gogh's Drinkers and to Hogarth. I hadn't thought of those but I'm happy to accept them.