Lockdown April 2020

In a horrible chain of world events, pretty much every human is under quarantine.  I haven’t left my home since March 11th, 2020 (only to walk my dog).  Luckily there are such things as grocery delivery and meal kits that also deliver, and to protect myself (and my partner), we are adhering to the rules set forth here in Ohio.

With that said, cabin fever is an understatement.  However, during this confinement, it has motivated me to work on a painting that I’ve had on ice for several months.  Between exhaustion, migraines, and just lacking the time… my creative pursuits (the ones wherein I am just creating artwork because I want to, not because I’ve been contracted or commissioned) are often left to wither.  Additionally, when I have too many distractions going on, I sometimes forget what I even set out to do in the first place.

That brings me to this… sharing my latest creation.

“Hunter & the Hunted,” 2020.

This piece is 18″H x 24″W.  The materials used were hardboard canvas with blue foil adhered to it, to create a reflective deep blue surface.  The painting was done with acrylic paints and oil pastels.  The gold adornments were made with cut gold vinyl pieces (that were illustrated via Adobe Illustrator to get the exact proportions before cutting) and then aligned to the canvas using transfer tape, and hand-painted wording (with gold/metallic paint).

This creation has many references within, and without spilling every secret, I will just point out the more obvious symbolism.

  1. The title “Hunter & the Hunted”is derived from the title of a Simple Minds song (one that I like).  I’ve always loved the ambiguity of the lyrics, and the sexual energy of the melody/composition because it’s subtle. I have wanted to do some work based on song titles, but a visual interpretation of them.
  2. Sheep (Rams) are pretty much the quintessential animal of Scotland, and Simple Minds are Scottish band, compromised of a ‘herd’ of males (who are competitive).
  3. The color choices: The blue and white color palette (Scottish Flag), gold lines and flourishes (the song title is taken from Simple Minds, “New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84)” album).
  4. The gold lines/boxes are to evoke an unclear target (which is why it’s askew).
  5. The female genitalia in the center of the head (is always on their “Minds”), and the Golden Fleece of fur evokes schools of sperm swimming in it.

There are more hidden clues in this that I am not going to spell out. Still, one more trick up my sleeve would be to why (other than the Scottish reference) I chose to focus on a Ram (considering, I’ve never really focused on animals in my artwork previously)… the Ram is a symbol of strength, virility, and stubbornness. Many wild ones are hunted because they are a challenge. However, they are vulnerable despite their power. They aren’t a predator but can be against one another… And what drives that? Their dominance to be the alpha male, and it’s driven by, you guessed it… Females (hence the vulva wrinkled directly in the middle of the forehead to note that alpha males have sexual pursuits on their “Simple” minds at all times), and are out hunting for it. So, in essence, this animal is a hunter, and it’s hunted.

-Julz, 4/16/2020