The other half of id-iom told me just the other day that I should probably stop drawing men with big noses and I thought he was probably right as I have about 20 half-finished pictures sat around featuring men with big hooters. But then I did an about turn.
With inspiration running low and no idea of what to paint I was staring vacantly out the window when my eyes refocused – and what did I see but my own face complete with statuesque Roman nose staring back at me. That was enough to get the creative juices flowing, so I quickly set to work on my latest self portrait. Something I said I’d never do again after my last attempt which resulted in ‘High Risk Hugo’.
This time things haven’t gone much better, it would seem I still have a penchant for making my face look more like a horror movie monster than what I actually look like or perhaps all these months of lockdown have been getting to me.
Also I spent far too long painting the colours in the background but I guess I’ve had some time on my hands.
My old history teacher would not be best impressed. There’s me with a highbrow Julius Caesar assassination/Ides of March related piece and the vague but persistent memory that it falls on the 17th March (ie. today). A swift internet search reveals that I have, of course, got it wrong and now my piece is two days past any date related relevance as, I’m sure we all know, the Ides of March corresponds to the 15th March in our calendar. D’oh.
Anyway, today’s piece is laser cut and hand-painted and features Caesar’s head (on a Roman coin) getting stabbed up by his old buddies and includes his legendary last words ‘Et tu Brute?’ which means ‘Even you Brutus? as he expresses terminal dismay at the treachery of a supposed friend. But you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs now can you? I’m sure he’d done worse in his time. Here ends the lesson.
Here at id-iom we are generally unashamedly low brow but that doesn’t mean we don’t like to mix it up every once in a while and fire something a little more pretentious and contrived your way just ‘cos we can. There I was reading an article about the Roman city of Pompeii when inspiration struck. As i’m sure we’re all aware Pompeii was destroyed during the eruption of the nearby Mount Vesuvius in 79AD. Apart from the bits that were destroyed there was a blanket of volcanic ash a few metres deep which covered the entire town and preserved it for future generations to discover.
In amongst the more grisly discoveries there was a lot of graffiti found on the walls which shed some light on the day to day goings on in ancient Pompeii and the musings of the common man – and that was enough for the seed of an idea to germinate. I’m not expecting South London to get hit by a giant volcano any time soon however so who knows how long our graffiti will last?
Anyway, what does it all mean? I could just give you translation but in this day and age it’s only a google search away so I’m afraid you’ll have to do it yourself if you’re at all interested. Howzat for interactive street art?
As i’m sure we’re all aware, Venus is the Roman goddess of love (and also beauty, sex, fertility, prosperity and desire). The Romans adapted the myths and iconography of her Greek counterpart Aphrodite to suit their own needs. Venus would later become one of the most widely referenced deities of Greco-Roman mythology as the embodiment of love and sexuality.
She wasn’t always like this though. When she was a young woman, before she had godly duties to perform, she was a little less certain of where her future lay. She was a bit socially awkward and the way she dressed and carried herself could only be described as drab and unassuming. One day however a chance encounter with a dashing young demi-god taught her what it was to love and be loved. With this awakening she blossomed into the the fun and vivacious deity we all know and love. She found she excelled at her celestial duties but still wonders what happened to that young demi-god. If only she could remember his name…
Title: The Virtue of Venus
Materials: Paint pen, acrylic, ink, charcoal, spraypaint and Tipp Ex