Friday, 30 March 2012

Barnaby Whitfield

Barnaby Whitfield, American traditional painter speaks about his work and influences ~ "I had an extremely sexualized childhood. I was aware of the intimate details of my parents relationship early on (loads of overshare). I was also sexually active at a very young age. And I was utterly determined not to be gay, even though I was sleeping with boys and girls equally. It created this huge mix of shame and obsession.

Right after I moved back to the states in my early 20's, I was the victim of a violent crime. A closeted man, a mutual 'friend'. It absolutely removed sexual activity from my agenda for years. Here was a man wanting to destroy me because of his desire. It was literally like a physical manifestation of what I was feeling towards myself, and it shook me to the core. It nearly tipped the balance so far on the side of shame to no return. That is where the grotesque and sexual created a relationship in my work. Or that is where it's born from. Like being caught up in the most amazing wet dream only to wake and see who is actually above you. Some grotesque character consuming you. But I think I am trying to paint that in reverse, to turn the horrific reality into the beautiful dream." Barnaby Whitfield


No comments:

Post a Comment