It is sometimes said that when photography was invented, that it was the end of painting but then, others might say that when photography was invented, that it set painting free!
I was thinking about that when I was working on the painting above, back in 2010. Those days, I liked creating works that, from a distance, looked purely figurative but, on closer inspection, they revealed the true nature of the work, ie: that it was a “continuous struggle with the materiality of paint and surface”.
Ah yes, mark-making and all that, it’s true of course – the tension between trying to get a likeness and also being aware of the various brushstrokes you’re making – but it could also do your head in, if you weren’t in the whole of your health.
But I was an “invited artist” at the RHA annual exhibition that year and – didn’t I win the ESB Keating McLaughlin Medal for the painting above!