Disciple

Disciple

Acrylic on wood panels (and a chain), 78cm x 51cm

Disciple's face

Disciple's pendant

On her forehead is a symbol associated with a black metal band called Watain. I saw them play live once, and they had a Satanic altar on stage which the singer used once or twice during the performance for ceremonial purposes. Around her neck is a pendant depicting maggots and worms feasting on an eyeball that is leaking fluid from its pupil. I won’t flatter myself that anyone would ever care to ask “What does it all mean?”, but if they did I would say that it means something to me, and that is enough. You’re the viewer – whatever it means or does not mean to you is all you need concern yourself with! I find that I am left utterly cold by art that attempts to “convey a message” of some sort, or “mean something”, or achieve any purpose other than just being itself. It’s not that I disapprove – approving or disapproving of other people’s work is not what I do. That’s not how I think about the world around me. But when an artist presents me, the viewer, with work that has clearly been made to provide social commentary or hammer a political message, then I switch off. If you have an opinion on something, just tell me. I will understand it better. I’m not interested in your opinion, but if you really want me to hear it then just say it, and let your imagination have its own space in which to breathe rather than serving purely as a vehicle for your half-baked ideas.

Does that mean I think that artists should not make work that has a message, or that “means” something? Not at all. I have nothing to say about what other people “should” do. Go ahead and do what you want!