MA Fine Art Degree Show (2009)
Central Saint Martin’s College of Art & Design
My ‘Art History’ series developed from my interests in art history and popular culture, especially films. I work from screen captures from Hollywood films that are based on historical texts, events, and people. The films are not always accurate representations of history, oftentimes mixing fiction and history together. I would like the viewer to question the relationship between history and film, and even art history and film, as many of these movies use art history paintings for references. Through the use of media images, I also hope people will question the artistic freedom taken in (re)creating these histories, often to broaden commercial appeal, but this also reinforces the idea that history itself is never a true fact and always biased and questionable as the ultimate truth.
While I use film stills as references, I am still focusing on portraiture in most of my works because the recognizability of the subjects in my paintings is also key to the work. There is an overlap in these actors and actresses playing different roles in different films. For example, Joseph Fiennes plays Shakespeare in Shakespeare in Love alongside Judi Dench as an older Elizabeth I, yet Fiennes also plays the Earl of Leicester in Elizabeth as the young lover of Cate Blanchett’s young Elizabeth I. Using these instances when there are overlaps, I intend for there to be a break in the historical façade of my work, further urging the viewer to question the relationship between each painting and within history itself.