Little Alphonse’s Festal Bon-Bons. 2022.
This painting is an example of my interest in creating fragmentary narratives by accreting ready-made sources. Images are assembled through slow improvisation; the finished painting teeters between coherence and chaos, meaning and nonsense.
In one possible near-narrative, Little Alphonse refers to DAF de Sade and the ‘laced’ sweets he was said to have distributed. The painting contains a muted Sadeian quality, but the child at centre may have a more masochistic imagination. There are tensions between points of view which suggest destabilised boundaries between ‘subject’ and ‘object’.
Many of my favourite themes revolve around desire, frustration, excess, fulfilment and punishment; these can be seen in Little Alphonse's iconography, not least walking canes and confectionary (old-style Roses and Quality Street, familiar to older British viewers).