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Waving at Ideology

Oil on Canvas

200mm x 200mm

This small painting is probably finished. The waving figures are taken from a photograph taken when the Berlin Wall was being built and the background is a version of Velazquez’s View of the Garden of the Villa Medici, Rome.

The colour choice is something I didn’t fret about too much though I’m pleased that the pink building give a dreamlike quality to the painting.

Making such a small, detailed work is odd for me (I’m not great at detail), so perhaps this is a bit of a breakthrough. The stodginess of the paint (undiluted white and violet, basically) allowed me to make the building’s architecture pretty clear.

I love that the Velazquez painting is of a part of the Medici garden that has been turned into a shed for the gardeners, gently undercutting the grandeur of the patrons of the Renaissance. The waving figures are tragic. When the Berlin Wall as being erected people would hold children up to be seen by grandparents and so on. Having these people wave at a building is, of course, absurd and that they are perched on a stepladder, doubly so.