The portrayal of "meat" or "flesh" are constantly present as the object of my paintings. Food has always been a pictorial theme throughout art history. This theme has a social relevance but I am not interested in it. I am primarily interested in sight and pictorial issues. I do not stand neither on the side of vegetarians nor the meat-eaters. I do not attempt to formulate a public announcement, I do not criticize, but reflect on it from my own point of view. The object of the picture does not necessarily carry criticism or a world view. I doubt that anybody would believe for example that Archimboldo was vegetarian.
The motivation for my pictures of meat slices also came from a personal story. My grandfather was a hunter and he often brought home various game meat and sometimes he even appeared with living animals for us to prepare them. These early stories are not explanations of my pictures. I did not choose my topic out of nostalgia, but as a conscious choice of the painter, to pose a modern artistic question.
The view of a slice of meat inspires me to paint and to create objects. It was the still life with slices of salmon from Goya that gave me the original idea. I bought some slices of different kinds of meat from the butcher’s: chuck, bacon, ham, pork chops, and haunch meat with skin. These became my models. I took a photograph of them and then I traced them on a paper and made templates of the same shape. Based on the templates I cut the form of the meats out of paper. On these pieces I made pencil and watercolor sketches. Then I repeated the process with wood instead of paper. I polished the wood pieces to the form of the templates, coated them, and then painted them with oil. I still followed the original sight of the meat pieces. The previously made pencil sketches and photos were useful now, since the original „model” has mouldered by the time the wooden pieces were prepared to be painted. Upon beginning the pencil sketches I realized that though the shapes of the pieces are given, I can vary around what is going on inside the shape. I did not have to „copy” the exact original image. In order to be able to recreate the same visual experience, I only had to follow the given structure of the meat's texture. Since these were pencil drawings, coloring was not a concern. I understood the image now, there was no need to actually see more meat. My two large pictures were not made according to any actual model, two slices of meat exactly like these never existed. I knew how to assemble the details, I was familiar with the colors I had to use and I knew what kind of surface to create in order to create the spectacle of a slice of meat, even if it is a 2.5 meter one.
My works are not still lives, but painted objects. They do share a connection with still lives, however. I looked up painters who used meat in their still lives as inspiration. At this point I was interested in the way the meats were painted.
From my findings the ones that inspired my fantasy the most were: Monet's still life about a slice of beef, the still life with meat of Felix Valotton, the paintings of Floris Claesz Van Dyck, PieterClaesz,Willem Claeszoon Heda, Floris van Schooten, Jan Davidsz. deHeem, Giacomo Ceruti, Guillaume Fouace, Luis Melendez, and Raphaelle Peale.
By cutting out the pieces I emphasize the freedom of organic shapes. They are not locked in a frame. The depiction of the organic world as opposed to the geometric world.
Haunch meat with skin oil- fibreboard 150 cm x 250 cm