This is going to exhibited in an show called Alien Nation around Autumn.
This is now the finished piece.
For no great reason this painting incorporates:
Nina Simone, Gordon Brown, Izzy Mill, Alex Mill, Peter Green & Mick Fleetwood, A local Muslim lady, The Flying Conchords, Loula the street’s dog, the Polish old lady from down the road, a bike courier, Kingsly Amis, a Fetische, Matilda, a niece, a hoody, a tiger, a scary shadow a blank commuter, a poo, a mouse, a pigeon, a butterfly, a bike, a bus, two cars, a can, chewing gum and of course Mr Ben.
Here’s the idea behind it.
In 1992 I painted a picture called ‘Mr Ben could be you’.
It was about being able to go into any situation, changing to suit each environment.
You know mutability of the self – or putting on clothes to have a laugh and be someone else.
And I really like Mr Ben.
As the exhibition is about being new to London he fits rather well (London is the only place he is actually home but he wants to be alien, plus he looks like the cliche Londoner in books).
Anyway I’d like to do another one of those, this time with the focal point of a London bus stop.
In my head the look of it will be a cross between three of my influences: Percy Wyndam Lewis (The English, angry maleness), Patrick Caulfield (the use of flat colour shadows, balance, texture) and Phillip Guston (humour, getting it out, grit).