Art is dead. Long live art.

I’ve just gone through the most excruciating gestation for an artwork that I’ve ever gone through. And I’m still not sure the experience is over yet.

It started fairly straight-forward enough. The place I live now is in the Australian countryside, on a river surrounded by vast paddocks grazed by black cattle.

Ever since I moved here ten years ago, every now and then I glimpse a figure outside in the darkened windows. It’s not a reflection. It’s a horned man.

The current series I’m working on is about suburban life – the strange things people get up to in their backyards, so I thought I’d create a piece with this figure in it.

Artwork by Ray Monde

I wanted the head to be a mask, so I made it deliberately boxy and homemade. And for some reason, because the man is naked, I made the head equine.

Next, the collage.

Artwork by Ray Monde

Something wasn’t right. The man’s skin was too dark. It clashed with the fence so I reworked the fence to be a white picket fence. But it still wasn’t right, so I reworked the man’s body into yellow and green. I was happy with the body and the barbecue now.

Artwork by Ray Monde naked man and horses head

But the head wasn’t working for me so I scratched it out, rubbed it back and reworked it with the head I see outside my windows at night time. The classic minotaur.

Naked minotaur in suburbs collage by Ray Monde

And so this is where I’m at. I’m still torn by the piece, I think I still have to rework the head a little more to make it lighter and more defined.

I know I just have to keep going. When I am hating something, I just have to keep going, even if I destroy the artwork in the end. By forcing myself to progress forward sometimes I get something just right and magical.

2 thoughts on “Art is dead. Long live art.

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