All men are born free but everywhere are in chains

 

My work deals with contradiction. A political consciousness and an awareness of the dangers of Fascism and the dark forces beneath the surface of society have always underpinned my work and ideas. I want to engage with and examine the culture as it is – with all its diversity and contradictions; the banality, alienation, delusion, repression, oppression, spiritual poverty – as well as the humour and warmth and cultural richness of human life. Whilst occasionally my work does touch on the more obvious manifestations of oppression and violence (I am haunted by certain images, a German firing squad shooting a group of Italian peasants, an older man holding a young man’s hand on the point of death) my work more often deals with less obvious or visible contradictions. The spectacle of the city I do find seductive – it is all those clichés: dangerous, vital, sexy, but beyond/behind those facades, the countless illuminated windows, lies this strange artificial environment in which it seems the huge majority of humanity work – the office. Slick and comfortable the modern office conceals the economic and psychological violence implicit in corporate culture. The genial self-satisfaction of the rich and their denial, or refusal to recognise, culpability. Contradiction has always been a characteristic of capitalism, however the recent growth of the super-rich has exponentially increased the scale of economic contradiction. Twenty years ago the average Director of a FTSE top 100 company earned seventeen times the national average wage in the UK – they now earn seventy-five times the national average.I want my images to go beyond the limitation of the subject – to speak of ideas contained somewhere between the image, the formal structure, the material and the qualities of the mark. But I am of course always deeply involved in the subject: - the kind of space; the quality of light; above all the figure. I love the figure and in a sense know every figure I make. I may at times draw or paint a figure I feel no sympathy for – who I may regard as representing evil, but far more often I am driven by a love of people and a very deep sympathy for poor suffering humanity.