Contextual LEVEL6

Louis Le Brocquy

One artist whose work has influenced mine is Louis Le Brocquy, his Portrait Heads similarly seem to float in an expanse of nothing, with the colours not confined to the edges of the faces he pained. The colours he used are also similar to how I work, in that they are not true to life as we see them, with areas of bright colour. in these works he also used areas of extreme darkness, highly contrasting with the white background, whic is also something present inmy work this year.

“though most of his early studies had generic titles such as ‘Head’ or ‘Ancestral Head’, there were also a few based on the heads of friends or famous writers such as Keats or James Joyce. However it was only in 1975 that he began to make extensive, systematic series of the same person, starting with one of W. B. Yeats, and following with series of Joyce, Federico Garcia Lorca, Samuel Beckett and Francis Bacon, in that order. He deliberately chose individuals of outstanding talent who were also vulnerable and poignant as human beings because of their suffering in life and the originality and breadth of their vision. In each case he steeped himself as deeply as possible in their work before beginning to paint. Though he knew Yeats, Beckett and Bacon, he had never met Joyce or, of course, Lorca. His paintings and drawings were made with reference to numerous photographs of them and in Joyce’s case to a bronze cast of his death mask which he owns and has hanging on the wall. These images often gave differing impressions and he made no attempt to resolve them into a final, definitive image. Many of the paintings were made without reference to a photograph while painting, but if he used photographs, he tended to have two or more beside him at the same time.”

i also use a variety of source material to create one paintiting, adding parts together whch are not always from the same image.

Unlike my work le brocquy used oil paints for these paintings, which have very different properties to my primary medium of watercolour. he also in these pieces is primarily focused on portraits, which is something ive never included in my work.

dispite these differences there are many visual similarities between our works.

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