Thursday, March 24, 2016

Harlequin Nuclear Romance

Mixed Media on Paper - 1984

I'm certainly not partial to clowns, but I'm not inherently revolted by them either. It seems that they inspire extreme reactions in people, one way or the other. Especially children.

The Harlequin is a type of clown with its origins in 16th Century France.

In the early 1980's there was a great show at SFMOMA called "Hockney Paints The Stage" that was a retrospective of David Hockney's Costume Designs and Opera Sets. There were some Harlequin images in the show that were inspired by Pablo Picasso's Harlequin paintings from various eras of his career.

A few years earlier, David Hockney was a visiting artist when I was a student at SFAI. He was a very approachable person. Besides that, he was witty and kind in his criticisms of student work.

After I saw that exhibition, I thought I would make a Harlequin image myself.

It is always fun to use subject matter that is deeply rooted in the Western Classical Canon.

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