Masters of Misogyny

Another allegorical painting, the largest canvas that I have made, 150cm x 130 cm. When you look at the crucified figure, imagine the suffering and exactly what did she do to deserve such horrific cruelty? Look at the faces of the assembled group at the base of the cross, their familiar ugly mugs are immediately associated with misogyny. The presence of the Pope rubber stamps my attack on the oppression of women by the Catholic Church. This is a church that can and has changed its dogma but it’s very clear that further change is urgently needed, if the religious indoctrination and financial exploitation of the world’s poor (particularly women and children) is to be ended.

It’s a pity that Islam too can’t update the Qur’an, it could if the clerics weren’t afraid of diluting their power base of fear but I can’t see it happening in my life time or for a long time after I’m gone. Islam is represented in the painting by Ayatollah Khomeini, the deceased ex-leader of Iran and by the current Saudi Prince and ruler Mohammed Bin Salaman, by my judgement both women haters, their oppressive records speak for themselves.

From the distant past Louis Quatorze, on the right of the standing group, shares the European misogynistic plaudits along with Henry the 8th, both prolific womanisers with little care for their concubines feelings it would seem, at a distance it could be argued that it was how things were back then, their awful treatment of women as play things and political bargaining tools is legendary, their place in my painting is thus more than justified.

Trump, what a cretinous individual, not an intelligent man and as President seemingly willing, to stick his foot in his mouth at every opportunity. Another man whose treatment of women is demeaning and may prove to be part of his coming downfall.

So this image is the start of the painting back in September 2017, it’s mounted on the easel I had made especially to complete this painting

progress so far in early September 2018 looks like this.

progress 27.9.18

detail 27.9.18

Coming towards the end game 13.12.18

Almost finished, just a few final details and la finition.

I’ve been looking at Caravaggio’s paintings for quite some time now and had little realised how much I had absorbed of his technique and how easily I could apply his technique to my political and societal philosophies.
Incidentally I can highly recommend a great large format book by Sebastian Sch├╝lze, entitled ‘Caravaggio_The Complete Works’, it is a truly excellent tome with loads of good quality images, especially useful to the student or aficionado of the Master.
I like to use high contrast in my paintings. As my style has developed I find high contrast enables my ideas to work more effectively and chiaroscuro is particularly useful for achieving this.

I hope to finish this painting early in the New Year.

So here to all intents and purposes is the finished painting as of 26.1.19. All that remains to be done is to refinish the background vandyke brown colour and blend it into the cross and the Pope’s figure where necessary. Finally I’ll brush on retouch varnish and when thoroughly dry, a further final varnish.

It’s been a rewarding journey painting this, both from the perspective of learning how to paint such a large painting and simultaneously seeing how the news unfolded over the two years since I planned this, long before Mohammed Bin Salman killed the journalist Khashoggi and while more abuse of children in the care of the Catholic Church continued and whilst Trump unflinchingly expressed his misogyny, racism and general bigotry. These ‘leaders’ are the moral scum of humanity and if their gods exist, I hope their parasitic preying on their fellow man, has been duly noted. Halle fuckin’ lujah – Amen!

A final few detail photos


Best photo 31.3.2019


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