Sunday, 8 December 2013

A Disneyland in the former East Germany. Untitled (Dresden) December 2013 Acrylics on canvas, 60 cm x 60 cm

Flat colour fields often denote strong meaning. I look at road signs, flags and logos for companies or organisations. Clarity and strength of conviction is put forward by someone for the world to take heed of. However, blind conviction often fails, I find. In the way we write it, "blind conviction" we also find the clue to why it might not have the necessary properties to survive in the long run. It is, indeed, blind.  I find desaturated, tarnished and broken signage or flags particularly arresting. Considering that all is vanity anyway as the olden philosophers pointed out aeons ago, I find I have a certain sympathy for the collapsed imperatives of these utilitarian works. Especially when that which has been tarnished once had positive, strong or powerfully authoritarian leanings. We deride the past at our peril, however, and sometimes the old "truths" can tell us more of our present than we might want to admit. Combatting horizontals and verticals can be used to illustrate this tension between now and then, truth and defunct truths. Had Erich Honecker run a Disneyland in the former DDR we would now view it as a fossil, a crashed illusion, and the feeble colours of the old site would indicate to us the weakness of the whole venture. Such is our instinctive response to fading colours. Such is our view of the defeated past. As I worked this canvas, the name "Dresden" kept popping up in my mind when I thought of the nature of how I painted. Dresden was almost eradicated through bombing raids during WWII, and as a city on the losing side, I found the name suited my thoughts on the battle we all take part in, the battle between intent and time.


  1. Wow, cheers Paul! Glad you like it. It went through quite a few transformations before settling into its final state.