“Oh Bondage”+“Up Yours!” 56x76cm diptych, collage on paper. 2015
I sold the gallery to focus on my own art & work exclusively with a smaller group of artists. This is my first collection since then. It has sold. Defuck? Thank you to everyone. New project announced soon Short Insta Edit of essay ⬇️ ... I moved to France for love and as the story goes, was miserable. My solitude was spent reading amongst the sculptures of the museum. I was drawn to The Fallen Caryatid by Rodin. A caryatid is a statue of maiden, carved into a pillar. Rows of them supported the roofs of ancient temples. Rodin’s genius was to see the caryatid as more than a pillar. He saw a young girl doomed to an atlantean fate. Rodin was so connected to his art that he was unable to see a caryatid, or possibly any sculpture for that matter, without also feeling it’s pain. Rodin’s caryatid struggles to her knees under the weight of civilisation, history, philosophy, culture and art. At the time, it seemed to me that this was ‘perfect art’. For the ancients, the caryatid was a symbol of hellenistic strength, she bore proudly the weight of civilisation. Rodin later humanised her as art. And us? As citizens of information age, what burden can we add to her? In ‘the current year’, we have become addicted to validation on social media. Along with the busy exchange of selfies, memes, causes and the occasional celebrity death, oppression become a valued commodity. Requiring neither hard work or investment, oppression is an easy way to generate content. In the months working on these studies, my feed seemed flooded with posts revelling in their inadequacies. E-begging for validation. It seemed to me that hardship is no longer something to overcome; it has become content. While The Fallen Caryatid once shouldered her load in silence. It’s possible that the new ‘social caryatid’ is desperate to broadcast every minor hardship in exchange for social currency. Maybe this is the caryatids new burden. To no longer endure her load in dignity, to instead compete with others for the heaviest stone. It’s by no means a well developed thesis. However, I think it has potential and is worth considering as you browse this collection. I hope you enjoy it.
“In “the current year” rather than shouldering her load in silence, she now broadcasts every minor hardship in exchange for social currency. This is the caryatids new burden. To no longer endure her load in dignity, to instead compete with others for the heaviest stone.” - From the catalogue’s essay.
“You can’t understand pressure until you feel it” acrylic and collage on paper, 56x76cm. The Fallen Caryatid catalogue went out today. 👊
The Fallen Caryatid. “For three thousand years architects designed buildings with columns shaped as female figures. At last Rodin pointed out that this was work too heavy for a girl. He didn’t say, ‘Look, you jerks, if you must do this, make it a brawny male figure.’ No, he showed it. This poor little caryatid has fallen under the load. She’s a good girl-look at her face. Serious, unhappy at her failure, not blaming anyone, not even the gods…and still trying to shoulder her load, after she’s crumpled under it. “But she’s more than good art denouncing bad art; she’s a symbol for every woman who ever shouldered a load too heavy. But not alone women—this symbol means every man and woman who ever sweated out life in uncomplaining fortitude, until they crumpled under their loads. It’s courage, […] and victory.” “‘Victory’?” “Victory in defeat; there is none higher. She didn’t give up[…]; she’s still trying to lift that stone after it has crushed her. She’s a father working while cancer eats away his insides, to bring home one more pay check. She’s a twelve-year old trying to mother her brothers and sisters because Mama had to go to Heaven. She’s a switchboard operator sticking to her post while smoke chokes her and fire cuts off her escape. She’s all the unsung heroes who couldn’t make it but never quit. —Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein (1961)
I’ve just finished my first series. The Fallen Caryatid studies. Nine 56x76cm collage on paper. $750aud each. The catalogue will go out on Tuesday morning, email me now to request a copy. The last few months I’ve been waking up thankful that I was able to step away from my gallery, setup a studio and begin working on my own art. This collection has been developing since living in Lyon, under shadow of several magnificent Rodin works and the darker shadow of depression. The collection was ultimately inspired by Robert A. Heinlein’s A Stranger In A Strange land. A love letter to Rodin and The Fallen Caryatid, in the form of a sci-fi novel. In turn, this collection is meant as a love letter to Rodin, to Heinlein and to all the unsung heroes who couldn’t make it but never quit.
Gunpowder and screams for Rada Loa. Fallen Caryatid Study. 56x76 acrylic, blood, collage on paper.
Gunpowder and screams for Rada Loa. Fallen Caryatid Study. 56x76cm, acrylic, blood, collage on paper.
Dance and drink and screw because theres nothing else to do. Fallen Caryatid Study #9. 56x76cm acrylic, collage on paper.