A circular oil painting of a man with a bleeding nose.
This portrait focuses on themes relevant to the performance of stereotypical masculinity – violence, physicality and force. The trace evidence of violence hints at the tension between a show of strength and the display of pain.
It is part of what I call the muscle series, but as a portrait it stands outside of the main body of the group, not depicting the body or muscularity. It is a continuation of my earlier work surrounding men and masculinity.
The idea of the series is to look at the body under transformation.
Fight painting – depicting the aftermath of violence
This painting doesn’t focus on the body; instead, it focuses on the face and picks up on a point of apparent trauma. I could reveal the source of the injury, but perhaps it would be better to leave the air of mystery surrounding the event, with only the title to serve as a clue.
There’s clearly been some dramatic, violent event that has left its evidence, and it’s this visual punctuation that punches the macho façade of the strongman and shows vulnerability.
The image arose spontaneously after my husband was hit during a friendly sparring session. (The fact that this was a boxing incident is a neat tie-in to my writing on the Rocky series.)
The blood was so vibrant in the moment that it seemed to me to embody the focus of his fight for physical change. Fight painting seems to be focused on the moment of action or impact and tends to omit the aftermath.
The model appears bloodied and sweaty, and isolated against the dark navy background, he seems to be on the verge of swooning. The close-up shot focusing on the eyes and nose adds to the sense of disorientation.
The painting is circular, and is painted in oils on primed 400gsm paper.
It measures 38cm (15inches) in diameter.
This piece will be delivered unframed unless otherwise requested.