Christmas has dragged on but this week it is all systems go as the art world gives itself a shake and drags itself off the sofa. Tonight there is a mighty coming together of 100 painters at The Perfect Nude show at Wimbledon College of Art. Curated (not organised?) by Phillip Allen and Dan Coombs it is meant to be an un-ironic gathering of contemporary figure painting. This is a hard ask for an artist today - irony is one of our major tools. From the images I have seen there is thankfully still quite a lot of irony in evidence.
The whole issue of painting a nude is fraught with anxiety - painting a female is pandering to the male centric ways of art history, while painting a male nude is just pretty unappealing. I compromised by painting a bit of a nude Anne Heche from Gus Van Sant's remake of Psycho (Anne Heche is showering, soon she will be murdered). It seemed kinder to hide her nudity a bit and the idea of remaking a remake of an iconic nude scene was I thought quite fitting. For some strange reason I am quite drawn to shower scenes at the moment. I have just painted David Hockney in the shower as seen in his 70s film A Bigger Splash. The painting is to go with a text I have written for the new 'Paint' issue of Garageland which is currently in production. I will tell more in a future post.