Carlo Ponti's Nightmaare - Sophia Loren
Stencil spray paint on canvas
Each one is a unique piece made by Pure Evil
Canvas is 76 x 76 x 2cm
87.8 x 87.8 x 4.7cm frame dimensions - with chunky black wooden box frame
The Nightmare series was inspired by Warhol and Rosenquist and by my fathers bookshelf filled with 1960's Pop Art books, and was a departure from a lot of the street art based work I had been doing prior to this series. I was inspired by reading Warhol's diaries and by his manic obsession to paint beautiful famous people. At a certain point he realised that he had kind of lost the plot, and he was kind of losing ground to new school graffiti artists like Basquiat and Haring and they gave him the boot up the arse he needed.
I was inspired by an email I got from a copy village in China, they sent me a list of all the paintings from the world of art that they could reproduce for me and I was struck by the fact that they had distilled Warhol's entire career down to 3 works, an electric chair, a Jackie Kennedy and a Liz Taylor.. All available for cheap ! A whole life that had been turned into 3 tiny thumbnails available to buy NOW. Warhol would have loved the joke. I decided to run with the idea and turn myself into a copy village .
Edward Albee's film 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?' starring Taylor and Burton brilliantly illustrates a nightmare couple who use alcohol to fuel anguish and emotional pain towards each other. I was amazed at the film and so I did a painting of 'Richard Burton's Nightmare' / Liz Taylor' and a print in 2 POP colourways and 2 months later, Liz died... Sales started to grow as the obituaries and TV specials morbidly repeated the same details of her life and her loves over and over again.
Inspired by Warhol, Rosenquist and the 60s, the nightmare series celebrates the death of a golden age of cinema and glamour. Icon Elizabeth Taylor is immortalized in the painting “Richard Burton’s Nightmare,” created from a palette of strange hues with subliminal meanings.
I kept this whole collection of paintings very simple, The features of the women are simplified down to the most basic lines possible, cut by hand into three stencil layers with a sharp blade, and laboriously sprayed to build up the faces. The eyes drip painted tears, the product of broken dreams of love.