WH(Y)?, Painted Steel, 218cm x 125cm, 2006
“WH(Y)” is a sardonic reflection on the male condition, the name is taken from the chromosome that determines male sexuality shortly after conception. The piece’s focus is on certain male tendencies such as violence, imperialism, our love of motor vehicles, vagrancy, evangelism, sex with inflatable inanimate objects, voyeurism, etc…. it’s a humorous take on some of our less attractive habits. The composition consists of about forty small figures, average size 40cm, that are mostly portraits of people that have visited the studio recently and graciously posed in any number of compromising positions. The remainder of the shots I took outside of the studio. The figures are made out of welded steel bar and plate steel cut accordingly and the whole piece measures 218cm x 125cm. I improvised a lot with the composition and feel I came up with a fairly dynamic solution. I’m very content with the orientation towards detail and look forward to investigating it more in the future.
I would be remiss in not citing at least two influences that I had in working with this type of composition. Besides having a natural predilection for the busy and dynamic, I do find alot of inspiration in the works of Peter Brueghel and Hieronymous Bosch. Both of their attention to detail and imagination I find staggering. Bosch was as and continues to be as provacative as Dali but four hundred years earlier.
Hieronymous Bosch, Death and the Miser, c.1490
Both of these fellas were out there, just drumming out the most macabre stuff from the deepest recesses of their imaginations. I find it absolutely awe-inspiring.
My Good Friend Ari was an exuberant model, here he is in action with Sheila.
And here is the reproduction in steel that forms a part of the piece.
Another detail of WH(Y)?