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David Alexander Smith's Paintings and Drawings

Handstand

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Handstand 2004
hanstandsmall.jpg
Pen on Paper 21x29cm

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About the Picture

This is the most complex of my black and white pen drawings. The theme is balance, specifically seen in relation to the male/female partnership. The man holds himself upside down, stabilised by the woman's breasts. Here arises a contextual pun; both sex and nurture are implied in this support. The duplicity is mirrored in the ghost of desire found simultaneously in the bottom right and top left of the picture; first buried, and then dissipating onwards into the ether. Guiding the proceedings is an omnipotent eye, reminding us of an ancient primordial presence in the situation. It manifests as a horned phantom; a butch tattooed ghost that embraces the acrobatics of the man and the woman. To the right of the main figures is a narrative sequence, passing through a fake-ghost and a bound individual, up through two adulatory men, finally resting in a buried figure below a stylised home. The key to the puzzle lies in the incongruous dynamic between the gymnastics of the interpersonal relations, the unspoken apparitions surrounding this, and the formality of the tea service set-up in the foreground.

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