Re-reading Philip Roth (The Human Chain)
Acrylic on canvas
100 x 75 cm
1 in stock
This painting is about skin, and has an anti-racist message. The writing, which looks like hieroglyphics but is English script, explains where we are now, and where I came from, placing me in a historical context. It describes when my psychological and political views were formed, and how they have changed in the intervening decades as the world has changed.
The figures on the background are different skin colours – white, brown, black and yellow. They are all holding hands in childlike daisy chains of Leonardo’s universal man. In this age of polarisation, I believe we would do well to remember that we are in this world together and should try to get along. Philip Roth’s ‘The Human Stain’ is a novel about identity, race, and how we present ourselves to our peers and even those most intimately connected with us. I used this as the starting point for the text and also the painting.
A transcript of the writing is available should customers wish to read it by emailing me.
Note: the varnish used to protect the painting left fine bubbles over the surface which can be seen close up. This was a happy accident, working with the theme of skin: they appear like fine hair follicles on the surface.