Paul Johnson - Contemporary Artists

Guide

Guide The Saatchi Gallery
 

Paul Johnson

Guide

2007
Hand coloured paper collaged on board

70 x 70cm

“I think of my portraits as a constructed family: one leads to the other, and though related they become increasingly disparate. They’re like dream scenarios, and nod to a tradition of romanticism and the Pre-Raphaelites. The girl in Guide is from a photograph of a murderess, though in the painting she looks quite innocent. I called it Guide in reference to the disc motifs – the badge on her chest and the auras around her head – it’s like she’s being guided by some other force, where reality and imagination become confused. The shape of the aura comes from a lid my friend in Texas found on the road. It has a formal but broken quality. I like the virtual aspect of how it came from the ground, to the Internet, to another country, to become something completely new in the painting.”
 
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