Ever since the breakout of the pandemic I have put a lot of thought into my art and wanted to acquire a better understanding of forces that drive me to paint the way I do. I have discovered George Condo, an American contemporary artist based in New York City. During an interview posted on Louisiana Channel, he spoke of using a cartoony style of painting as a way to express adult content. Condo’s example was his painting Phoenix of 2010, the one that was used for the cover of Kanye West’s album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. He showed how a style of painting that was childish could become an intriguing tool when rendering adult content.
I started experimenting with this concept, but then another thought popped into my head. The pandemic made me think constantly about an invisible COVID-19 realm permeating city life. It was the realm of germs and suffering passed from hand to hand and from mouth to mouth in urban settings that, after the lockdown had eased, again began to look almost normal. I wanted to create pieces that incorporate some of this two-dimensionality – the realm of visibility juxtaposed with the germ-infested, invisible plane. In my initial pastel drawings, I therefore created two planes, one superimposed over the other – a surrealistic one and a kiddish one on top. The surrealistic plane shows different humanoid creatures in awkward and uncomfortable poses. This is my representation of how people felt during the pandemic. The childish plane of the paintings, painted over the surrealistic figures underneath, depicts mostly abnormal-looking, elongated figures with different kinds of deformities. Through this I wanted to demonstrate how alien and different the current situation is from what we all define as normal. All of my pastel drawings were building up to one final piece. The final piece was done using oil paints on linen.