Here are four recently completed paintings in the series I am currently working on, called ‘Sawing a woman in half’.
They’re all acrylic on canvas and measure 35 x 27cm.
I mentioned in my last blog that I’d elaborate a bit more on what inspired these paintings. Well, in my art practice I’m interested in people creating alternate realities that are preferable to ‘real life’ or everyday concerns, which also ties in with my interest in humankind’s quest for Utopia.
In this case, the magic show is the alternate, heightened reality. During the sawing a woman in half trick, (or any other illusions where the assistant’s life is supposedly at risk) we know that the assistant (who is usually female) isn’t really in danger, but we enjoy the thrill of pretending she is. Humans desire control over life and death and a lot of us want to believe in the supernatural. We enjoy believing that the magician can savagely harm and then resurrect the beautiful lady. There are questions to be raised about power, supernatural beliefs, god, control and sexual violence here, but also we can accept that these performances usually take place in front of a family audience and are often seen as light hearted, tongue in cheek entertainment.
There will be more posts to follow with more paintings from this series soon.