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David Alexander Smith's Paintings and Drawings

The Farmer

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The Farmer 2004
thefarmersmall.jpg
Acrylic on board 10.5x15cm

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About the Picture

I painted this small work especially for the A6 exhibition at Lewisham Arts Centre. The criteria were simple: all works must be post card size and cost 20. I turned to my favourite painter for inspiration: Chagall. In order to make my work stand out from all the others I would rely on the power of vibrant colour. Subject matter should be suggestive without descending into my usual (some might say) incomprehension. The farmer is a disguised Santa Clause; his fur-lined boots give him away. Well, what should a selfless man do for the other eleven months. A nod to the December date of the exhibition, and the obvious present potential of the selling environment underpins this allusion. Yet, the work offers more than a cynical pandering to market forces. The farmer has downed tools, and let his farm go to ruin. The wooden slats in the foreground have fallen into disrepair: a home for insects and worms. His chicken shares the yard with a wild bird. A generous fool makes the world happy: we love Santa for his ascetism.

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