Chamber Choir

2016, Oil on Canvas, 136 x 180 cm. Chamber Choir is a response to reflections about the male nude being under-represented in contemporary figurative art.

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Chamber Choir is a response to reflections about the male nude being under-represented in contemporary figurative art. Inspired by the opening scene in Mark Leyner’s novel The Tetherballs of Bougainville, this painting revolves around a Dionysian-type ‘protagonist’ who is strapped to a gurney within a US death chamber. Figurative apparitions encircle him like dizzy birds from a cartoon, bearing gifts of grief, sex and food. The room also forms a
psychological space where ideas of banal nationalism, trite primitivism and culinary clichés are played out.

In this work I try to create a feeling of overwhelming visual spectacle and cinematic motion, like an ornate necklace freeze-framed at the very moment it falls apart in a thief’s hand. With its clicking cameras, swinging chandelier, fuck-you fingers and dazzled witnesses, the painting is live-streamed on to a webpage and, your eyes.