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David Alexander Smith's Paintings and Drawings

Nightlife

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Nightlife 2005
nightlifesmall.jpg
Pen on paper 21x29 cm

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About the Picture

Revisiting the animal tower (see Dark Portrait) once again the ludicrous nature of sex is played out by a teetering mountain of animals. In this case the variety an inter-relations are extremely complex: a kitten with a bow tie balances a baby stag and wild dog on his back; a python, and eel and a ram traverse each other in holy unity; the grasping tentacles of an octopus and the ideal aspirations of a bird mark the mid point; a ginning whale mounts the cross; above a seal swallows the aged head of Poseidon; the friendly spectre atop the pile releases a party cracker, whilst framing the an extinct fish. The tower in this case marries the climb through life from birth in the present (the animals at the base of the construct) to death at its peak. A historical and archetypal method runs through the relations too. In response to this struggle a simple sleeper dressed in a nightgown and cap, stumbles into the room. A clock keeps time, but also keeps him awake. The sickness descends upon him, vomiting a sea of negativity. The mantra of the empty wastepaper basket keeps the scene in check.

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