12 September 2007

Big Heads

Making good on a threat I issued some time ago, here are some more of my drawings.

This is the first of an ongoing series I'm doing in collaboration with Greg Neville, which we are tentatively calling 'Big Heads'.

A bit different from my usual subject matter, the intention here is satirical (not exactly ripped from my very soul, if you know what I mean). It consists of a series of very large drawings in charcoal and mixed media of disposable plastic toys intended for children, some of them originally no larger than a couple of centimetres tall.

The drawings are massively expanded in scale, like the muscle-toned body of male aspiration, yet their sources are often quite tiny figures from throw away bits of consumer ware. These plastic mass-produced objects both embody and grotequely distort the classical ideal and the ideology of the Olympic stadium, which was itself a mortal echo and a tribute to the acts of the gods themselves.

The figures themselves depict rippling hyper-masculine supermen with expressions of extreme aggression and strain, in a display of extraordinary excess.

I hope the drawings will have a commanding physical presence as objects, drawn in vertiginous perspective, with an ironic nod to the tradition of classical statuary. The disposability of the objects both embodies and mocks the long tradition of Western figuration that informs them.

I thought it would be interesting to record the evolution of the drawing, so here are progressive shots of the first one under way. This is quite big, about a metre and a half high. Others I am working on will be even larger whole figures, but I thought I would start with details, see how it went, and work my way up.

The last shot is the finished article. The original for this one is a small plastic candy-dispenser, with a ring at the top. It has a hinge at the back and you flip it open to get the little candies. It would be about six or seven centimetres high.






3 comments:

Anonymous said...

"These plastic mass-produced objects both embody and grotequely distort the classical ideal and the ideology of the Olympic stadium, which was itself a mortal echo and a tribute to the acts of the gods themselves..."

But it's an illustration of the hulk, right? Do I get a prize for guessing it right?

Crritic! said...

Yep. Well, I wouldn't say an illustration of the Hulk exactly. It's an illustration of a plastic figure based on an image of the Hulk, which is basically just a very angry man.

People might think I'm being picky, but as Magritte taught us, there is a difference the thing and an image of the thing.

What sort of prize are we talking about? I'm sure I can rustle up something.

cookiewonton said...

this illustration is great!