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David Alexander Smith's Paintings and Drawings

Bad Party

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Bad Party 2002
Pen on Paper 21x29cm

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About the Picture

The title of this work is a literal explanation; it is a bad party. Structurally the composition moves around a spiral, finding its centre at the base of the discarded bouquet. At a basic level the motion replicates the nauseous instability induced by excessive drinking. However, there is more than alcohol fuelling this vortex. Two figures situated towards the back of the room have arrived dressed as birds. Between them they carry a large rolled carpet. The metaphor is obvious: the rug has been pulled from beneath the feet of the guests. A feeling of panic, or social collapse ricochets through the scene. A blind man already disorientated, looses his bearing, as his animal instincts (guide dog) looks on. An old woman casts the shadow of a lightening struck tree. And a dwarf wearing a baby’s bonnet stands outside the chaos and judges. The figures worst effected, at the centre of the swirl are swept off their feet – but without any implication of romantic fervour. The result is a failed Bacchanalia, a non-party.

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