Monday, May 04, 2009

Dolls II

My friend, the artist Stephen Seymour Clancy has shared this painting with me, which he has recently completed. I was naturally curious about it, what it represents and what it means, so I asked him. His response follows below; I should just point out that if you click on the photo it will display in a larger format and you can examine it more clearly. Please do not reproduce it on any other website as it is the property of the artist. Thanks very much. I would be interested in hearing your thoughts, both on the painting and also on the point of view of the artist and the reasons behind his creation. I have not asked him for the name of the painting, but I think we are safe to call it Dolls II for the moment.

Please also let me know if you would like to be put in touch with Steve, to find out about his current portfolio, exhibitions etc.

"I have to have something in mind - a point, an argument, a set of miseries or joys, something I feel strongly about, something to have an inner itch that needs a damned good scratch. The scratching can take months as with the final picture on this short list. (The painting shown here is the second in a series of three, the others have not yet been finalised)

I am rapidly beginning to hate television ... not the medium itself but what vapid, facile images it carries and delivers to a populous that seems to have an unquenchable thirst for pulp and mediocrity.

I can understand the commercial reasons for this and sadly I can understand how those whose lives and personalities are shown to be anodyne and crease-free, straight teethed and unblemished are portrayed. All image and no substance. I know this is an adolescent rant though the older I get the less I am able to identify certain individuals belonging to certain ‘victim’ groups. They are mostly women and they all look the same... the Stepford Wives, that Beckham woman, and more scarily the unstoppable doll faced credo that makes even young girls want/need to conform to the personality-less stereotype.

Yes its a daft rant. However, I took three images. Firstly I have a picture of you from the bash Cath and I had in Holmfirth, I thought it a good picture, a real uncompromising picture of a real uncompromising woman. Juxtaposed with two invented images - on the left a cold (hence much blue) woman robbed of personality and like the Beckham woman devoid of emotion but with the only thing she has left ... her body which, of course she would be dissatisfied with. There’s no eye contact, no recognition of a world outside of her being, just her and a need to conform and to show that she belongs to the Stepford Wives circle. Then there is the real doll on the right. A slightly (to me anyway) sinister Chucky smiling homunculus-like thing that has more than a tenuous link to the blue women.
And a real person is a central focal point in the whole arrangement.

The other two works are ‘in progress’ and predicated on the same itch so I’m off to keep scratching."


Colin said...

Louise do you know if you are on the other 2 pictures or just this one?

Louise Baldock said...

I am just in this one. I have seen the other two, or at least I have seen the early workings of them. One has an Aztec doll in place of Chucky, and one has Victoria Beckham in the centre, from memory. I think they are marvellous.