THE STORY BEHIND IT
In the past I’ve always kept the use of red as a base colour to a minimum and only ever created two previous works that have it, and these were much smaller too. I think the reason for that is that although I adore the colour it can get a little overwhelming when used over large areas.
But, undeterred, I set out to see if I could prove that theory wrong by creating a painting that had all the drama but didn’t leave you with a headache after looking at it.
Red is an unusual colour in terms of what it can be perceived as conveying. For some it is love, desire and passion. For others it will be war, blood and aggression. It’s never an easy inclusion in any painting of mine and certainly not an easy task when it covers the entirety of a canvas. The success of a painting like this revolves around the relationship of red to what else is contained within it. This is part of the reason why I used different loop parameters to soften the impact of the red. The main one being the black one.
Rather than seeing black as something final and absolute it finds itself playing an opposite role here. It’s because of its context that its behaviour translates into one of calm, purpose and solidity. It is the very structure that the rest of the painting is built around so getting the right amount in the right shape and in the right position was critical.
As were the additional loops of white and silver. If any one of these is out of place you’re going to notice in a heartbeat – and you don’t need to know anything about art to feel that. Minimal works are always stressful to create because of the pressure on getting it right. One tiny wrong move and it’s game over.
So the painting, for me, really does feel like it’s in a constant motion. It never stops moving when I look at it. I think it’s definitely one of my more stark and individual pieces; it doesn’t shock or annoy and it doesn’t offend. But it does shout rather loudly though. And because of it being a substantial length it’s crucial you have a wide enough wall and plenty of open space to let it breathe, otherwise it may just take your head off!
- Canvas: Scandinavian cotton coarse weave; 365 gsm (11.60z)
- Primer: Two coats of Gesso applied
- Base Coats: Yes, red!!!
- Paint: Enamel paint (4 colours) made to my own recipe
- Frame: 44mm Museum graded floating frame with 8 tensioning corner wedges. Made from European softwoods from substantiate forest