“I became obsessed with making paintings with odd bits of rooms, bits of ceilings – the kind of thing you look at when your lying in bed feeling slightly depressed. I did a whole series of those and remember thinking at one point, what would it be like if I combined all the bits fo things I am doing on small canvases into one big painting?” -Dexter Dalwood
Dalwood often illustrates human crisis and the ideal to highlight the failure or the sadness of his chosen subject matters, his use of collage allows him to be abrupt with his use of division within his subjects. He spent some time in Bergerac, France where he visited Michel de Montaigne’s house. He said that the extraordinary thing about it is that while the place is beautiful, the room itself is in some ways very disappointing. It only becomes special because of the fact of his working there, so your imagination becomes more important than reality. This is the kind of approach to painting I want to consider hen painting my journeys, a two-hour long car journey isn’t exciting or eventful. You are just sat in a car waiting to arrive at your destination. It is my feelings and imagination which creates a colourful and expressed personal view of these landscapes. Dalwood’s method of using collage to influence a painting has greatly inspired me to be more experimental when composing a painting, it has also helped me to incorporate more scenes than just a static image conveying a whole journey rather than just one snippet.
Dalwoods ‘Gorbachev’s Winter Retreat’ shows an uneventful scene, connotations of loneliness and Russia’s diverse snowy white landscapes. The small house in the middle belonging to Gorbachev, a Russian man who was the eighth and final leader of the now lost the Soviet Union. He is seen today as the man who lost an empire. This collage shows a clear divide with rural and settlement but unlike his other collages, the two segments of landscape show to be quite similar in terms of weather and colour.
Dalwood’s ‘Bay of Pigs’ is a mixture of tropical paradise and eery aspects of a scene from Apocalypse Now, portraying this view as a whole as some sort of strange environment with an interesting concept. Dalwood illustrates the failed 1961 U.S. attempt to overthrow the Cuban government, collage plays a key role in this painting as it allows him to show of clear division of crisis and paradise. In this painting, Dalwood takes Picasso’s palm trees and rocks.
Dalwood’s ‘Kurt Cobain’s Greenhouse’ depicts an urban scene with contrasting floral and natural life. The only suicide connotation I can really depict is the absent person from the lone guitar and chair facing the window, his use of collage shows day and night in one scene and multiple textures and emotions within this room. Dawood’s painting is an allegory of the fallacy of heroism.