I have been working on my essay today but I stumbled across a lovely quote by Michael Archer which says…”Conceptual Art proposed that images can be recognized as being language-like: an artwork can be read. The reverse is equally true: words can work in a picture-like way too”.
This quote appeals to be greatly, especially with the work now changing from just being paintings to something more conceptual and sculptural using ready made’s with interventions.
I picked up a neon pink photoframe this weekend. I did not know why, just that I was on a roll and it was cheap. I was thinking what would I put in it. Photoframes hold memories for us, people dear to us, captured. So it I thought it would be rather nice if the image I chose was not my own but another artists. I will put in Sappho, Charles-August Mengin. The original hangs in Manchester Art Gallery.
If my themes seem to be developing on roles from my own personal experience in society and how we juggle the various demands of modern life and our position within them, then she seems to be a great choice and whatever your level of art history you will take something from this image. So on its simplest level, but putting this image in a frame it is showing I admire it, but I like the irony that it is painted by a man in the Victorian era with the gratuitous boob shot but glorified as a historical genre painting for the male gaze to appreciate. But instead, there is a sub text going on. She is meant to be throwing herself off a cliff after a love affair with a young man but all is perhaps not what it seems. The female poet portrayed is more than perhaps the artist intended, she is bold, defiant, a call to arms and her sexuality is questionable given her island location. She can be reinterpreted in modern terms as a strong woman. It also interests me how conversations in paintings change as society around them does. A good and a cheeky controversial choice I think.