Jake Clark, Yellow Sandals, 2016, Oil and vinyl on canvas © Jake Clark, Courtesy of Collyer Bristow Gallery, London
Could you explain this work?
This painting depicts a women playing crazy golf. It is tightly cropped, just showing her legs and feet on the right of the canvas. On the left is a section of an obstacle from the game. In the background there are coloured balls suggesting the golf balls, but painted in the wrong scale. They are meant to show movement, this is emphasised by the stylised brush marks. It is a bit like a memory of looking down at your aunties painted red toenails, melting in the heat of the sun.
What does this piece deal with?
It is about abstract-figurative ideas of painting. A figure on one side, and a structure on the other. It also deals with languages of painting. There are different styles and speeds of painting all jostling for space. It is as if all these different elements have been thrown up in the air and landed on the canvas. The representational narrative could fall apart at any minute. Colour is also important. The palette is mainly made up of saturated bright colours. This is contrasted with dull colours, like the background.
What medium and techniques did you use?
The medium is oil paint on canvas. There is also some old vinyl collaged on the top right of the picture. This blends in with the dress pattern. The vinyl was glued down first, then brush marks were painted over a dark ground. The painting was then built up from this.
What were the struggles of making it?
Getting the colours right was the biggest struggle with this painting. The dress pattern changed a lot during the process. Also, the colour of the concrete golf structure went through quite a few changes. It was also trying to get a sense of realism but allowing strong abstract elements to dominate the image. It was part of a series of “feet” paintings. This was the only square one, so the shape provided different challenges.
What is the purpose behind this work?
The purpose of the work was to depict a holiday scene but with some sought of shadow of doom being cast over it. Like a familiar image of a family snapshot of an over cropped photograph. It is meant to represent the psychology of the situation. The sudden flash of a vivid memory, for example. There is also a clarity with the paint handling, yet the image is made up of separate components.