Shock factor

With news and events being pushed into our pockets, these days being a celebrity for celebrities sake is a chilling desire for many schoolchildren. Boosted by reality TV monetary reward for notoriety is almost an accepted career option.

This has been going on with modern art even longer. WW1 changed acceptable art forever. Classic styles didn’t convey the horror and confusion of the time. Guernica illustrates this perfectly.
Personally I can’t stand Picasso. I respect what he did, and he had choice, he could paint properly if he wanted to!

Floodgates open to mediocrity

The trouble is that now the door is open to any scribbles that carry an ‘important message’, alternatively one can just set out to shock. Leave a condom by a bed, mix porn and animal shit with virgin Mary… It is true that a masterpiece should stir an emotional response.
Disgust or confusion is easy. Where is the craftsmanship?

Anyway, I feel shocking art does have a place. Our first skeleton, NoBody cares about life exemplifies this. It was our prototype, as such I wanted to create a skeleton on its knees for purely engineering reasons of strength and stability.
The whole point of ‘NoBody cares about life’ is a moment frozen in time.

Nobody’s innocent

Facing imminent extinction… what would be going through your mind?
What words remain unspoken? What remains undone?
Is this the end of my life?
Will I ever see my loved ones again?

Or take hold of the gun, look down on a skeleton pleading for its life… Can you take someone’s life away? How could you been forced into this situation?

It is a surprisingly complex piece.

Holding on

It is not hard to imagine being in the hell of war, tired and hurt, sinking into cold mud. Desperately you reach out and cling on to anything within reach… ultimately it is not enough.
The other aspect to this is our daily life. What childhood fears or beliefs are we clinging onto? How hard is it to let go?

Sadly, human condition being what it is, most of these we’ll take to our graves.

In your face

There is something almost comical about this, yet chilling. Headhunters often used to ‘torture’ their trophy heads with sharp sticks and the like.

We recently visited some of the battlefields of WW1. Fascinating and horrific. Barbarity on unimaginable scale. Increasingly forgotten.

I am considering doing a similar piece with a battlefield relic bayonet. Edgy, yet it screams volumes about the history of this slaughter of youth.