My work draws from socialist realism and plays with its pictorial conventions, I hope in an affectionate way, because I think we still have much to learn from it. Not from its repressive Zhdanovite dogma of course, but from its origins as a way of critically reflecting upon the world as it appears. I hesitate to say that we can represent the truth, though I am full of admiration for those realist artists that try. Instead, I think that realism is a useful addition to the artist’s vocabulary. If it is the case that globalised culture moves backwards and forwards between a progressive cultural hybridity on one hand to an oppressive homogenisation on the other, it is opportune to use all the means at our disposal to oppose that homogenisation.
My basic cultural assumption is that, for the main part, the consumerist media tells lies. They tell us that we can buy and consume and live in a never-ending present in which the past is no longer relevant and in which the future is a place in which the present can only get better and better. The idea of cause and effect has been conveniently lost. Old ideas of praxis, where thought and action move forward in an endless dialogue in a never ending attempt to resolve the contradictions in our lives, have been neglected and replaced with the need for sensation and immediate sensual gratification. In a culture in which the new is celebrated simply because it promises us things, the origin and consequence of creating and owning those things is of less importance than the priority of pleasure in owning. I am not advocating an abolition of pleasure, in fact I want more of it, but I want a pleasure that is the result of the recognition of necessity not the pleasure of the unsustainable day dream. I think that art can contribute in some small way to shaping the world in the way we want it, after all, the media has managed to mis-shape it.