The Raft. Subject and foundation process
An interest in social issues, such as migration, human rights, workers' conditions, and conflicts, has become the matrix for this series of paintings.
The aesthetic research is based on the selection of news images published by magazines and online sources, which are explored in order to evoke an aesthetic connection with classic painting in terms of composition, subject and narrative power.
The Raft is based on the ongoing migrant/shipwreck crisis, and is reminiscent of the painting titled “Le Radeau de la Méduse” (1818-19) by Theodore Géricault.
The preparatory image is the result of a meticulous photo-montage consisting of numerous reportage images, and aims to evoke the narrative power of the historical/classical painting.
After evaluating the most appropriate technique for communicating these subjects today, I opted for a painting style which reflects the typical halftone process used in newspaper printing. I wanted the painting to appear objective, and this technique, which could be defined as "scientific," is capable of achieving this result.
Despite this, the canvas is painted point-by-point, in a single colour: ultramarine blue. Its dimensions (2.80 x 2 m) require time, space, and observation on the part of the spectator. No image or shape is discernible from a short distance but as we move away the subject slowly appears, and certain details can be made out.
This painting has been created through a preparatory photomontage of at least 10 different chronicle images of the Kurdish woman soldiers. The composition aims to evoke The Visitation by Jacopo Pontormo (1828) which illustrates the intimate embrace between Maria and Saint Elisabeth (1828 ca.).
Detail and full painting. Kurdish greetings, 160x200 cm. The Visitation, Jacopo Pontormo, 156x202 cm, 1528 ca.
The Entombment of a Syrian - Projects
The next painting is based on the ongoing events in Syria and inspired by The Entombment of Christ, Caravaggio, 1603–1604.