Cartoon Paintings 2018
With these two works, Dysfunctional Families and Contradictory Madonna,I took the integration of my cartoon and fine art painting practices a stage further than in the cartoon paintings of in 2017.
This was done by working freely on large pieces of unstretched raw canvas stapled to my studio wall, combining rough charcoal drawing and spray paint. I took a spontaneous approach rather than planning in advance as I would with a regular cartoon. These works came from the concept of getting raw ideas and emotions onto the canvas. I just wanted to see what emerged onto the canvas with an outburst of impulsive words and drawn images.
These pieces are similar in their approach, relating to two different but interconnected, subject matters. One is a response to contemporary issues, increasingly provoking a sense frustration and inner anxiety in society. The other derives from the pace of modern life, which is increasing all the time, often due to new technology, and making life more competitive. It creates the pressure to have the latest new thing, supposedly to make your life look perfect and inspire admiration on social media but in reality creating a new set of anxieties.
Contradictory Madonna explores how women are viewed by society through media images. It reflects the expectation that they should take on all the different roles that society asks of them - mother and high achiever at work - whilst also maintaining a perfect appearance. This piece shows the contradictions by revealing the inner thoughts that women hold about themselves.
Women often feel they cannot live up to the ideals expected of them by society to be thin, beautiful and clever, so words of doubt start to creep in with feelings of not being good enough - fat, ugly and stupid. Even though to the outside world they may appear to be successful and attractive. I have applied these contradictory words to an image of a Madonna, who represents the perfect woman in the Christian tradition.
Dysfunctional Family- Is taking the same pressure and anxieties as Contradictory Madonnaand showing how they can affect the entire family. Men are also under a lot of pressure to do well financially to support their families and to help out at home. The mother is expected to help more financially and keep a perfect home. Children are under pressure to perform well at school from a young age, are tested, taught to be ambitious and desire to become rich and successful. Children also place pressure on their parents to buy them more things in order to keep up with other children at school. This can lead to parents getting into debt to meet these expectations. The result is that families can end up in an endless struggle to get goods that are valueless and detract from their quality of life.