Fancy Dress (59.5 x 73 cm)

Though this probably is a self-portrait of the artist, the powerful, flowing garb has a semblance to the clothing worn by T E Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), a British WWI soldier and writer (Seven Pillars or Wisdom, 1926). The artist enjoyed drawing war uniforms in the early part of his life and had an interest in war history so it is possible. (See the Adolf series in Anything Else.)

The artist’s ‘signatures’, i.e. elongated face and neck, large eyes and colourful lips are seen in this painting. Many of the artist’s ‘portraits’ suggest that he may have been influenced by techniques used in Egyptian art and the many faces painted by Modigliani (1884 – 1920), where mask like faces, exaggeration of facial features and elongated necks can be seen. 

The various green colours and the strong blue background are in harmony. The bright, slightly textured background does not detract from the face. The green colour in the clothing is reflected in the subject’s eyes. Blue and red violet coloured paints have been modestly applied, and it appears as if the artist used a flat, bristled brush when painting the headgear. The brush techniques of layering paint and angled short strokes result in a textured, if not scrubbed appearance. The artist may have used a palette knife also, to give a textured effect. The multi-coloured ‘stippling’ effect on the subject’s clothing is seen in many of his paintings.

The face is well placed and the mood is serious, if not controlling.

Acrylic on Masonite, date unknown. (Cleaned and framed.)

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