Thursday, 19 September 2013

Bonfire of the Vanities 2

Madonna of the Toboggan (Oil on canvas, 36 x 48 in)

Destroying this painting took more thought than destroying the previous ones. It was based on a photograph I took at The Hoppings on Newcastle's Town Moor, but the photograph was always better than the painting which dates from 2004.

I'd considered destroying or painting over the Madonna in the past. but decided against it when I allowed the parts that appealed to me to sway my decision. And then I found a use for it in a show last year, where it added to the overall theme of isolation and what I thought of as "people in containers". For similar reasons, I thought about keeping some of the cut up painting but as the best parts were the bits of brightly coloured machinery in the background, you can probably see that there wasn't much that could stand alone.

To be honest, I destroyed better paintings while at University, so when it came to it I didn't really regret the loss.


Anonymous said...

I remember this painting well. I don't know what the photo looked like, but maybe if the sole character was in a small corner of a larger composition featuring the arcitechture of the funfair, it might have worked better...

harry bell said...

But then it would have been a completely different painting.

I have no problem with the composition - it was meant to reference religious altarpieces, hence the title.

My reservations were to do with the quality of the paint application.

Ian said...

I need to be more ruthless about getting rid of failed prints.

harry bell said...

God luck with that, Ian. I'm told it'll be very cathartic, which I assume must be a good thing.