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Charles Alexander Moffat Retrospective 2002

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Bad Vibrations : 2002

Fantine's Depression : 2002

Freudian Explosion : 2002

Italy and Germany Reproduction : 2002

Lilith Incarnation #5 : Red Lilith : 2002

Pacifism : 2002

Self Analysis #1 : 2002

Self Analysis #2 : 2002

Self Analysis #3 : 2002

For years now people have asked me for more details about my work, poking me with questions about how I made them, why I made them and what the paintings mean. And of course the obvious question, how much?

I don't even try to sell my paintings. Many of my works are rather academic and theoretical. They are not the kind of paintings that you would see in on someone's livingroom wall or at the dentist office. Instead, they are the kind of paintings you might see in a major art gallery.

I do occasionnally do commissions however, as you will see, and I do occasionally sell my paintings as well. I am rather loathe to part with them however.

My popularity is also rather flattering. I have fans all over the world, university students writing essays about my work, regular emails from fans who "oooh and awwwww", I've been mentioned in several documentaries, and even art groupies. I also receive regular hate-mail and threats from people who find my artwork to be somehow offensive or even blasphemous. According to many people, I am going to hell. I do not let my popularity/anti-popularity bother me however. I just find it amusing.

When I look back over the years at my work, I realize how much my work has changed, and also how much it hasn't changed. I still focus more on people, particularly women, and I am still a romantic at heart. My latest works have become more and more controversial.

As you compare different years of my work, you will see repetitive themes, such as the violin paintings. I usually do one violin painting per year. Some years there is no violin painting. Why do I make violin paintings? Because they're difficult to draw, to shade and to paint. They make excellent practice. I've gotten to the point where I can now draw and accurately shade a realistic violin from memory. Perhaps I should find something even more difficult, to give myself a challenge.

Challenges are also an aspect of my work. Some of my paintings were made partly because it was a challenge. Painting a plaid shirt for example, is a very difficult practice. Not all of my paintings are a challenge however. Some are just a compositional formula that I have worked out, and that formula is simply repeated in numerous paintings. Sometimes I tweak the formula and play with it, change it. I actually have several different That formulas that I use, off and on from time to time. These formulas have become iconic of my style.

Stylistically, I also change my style back and forth as well. Some artworks are almost photographic, while others are more abstract or stylized. It varies largely upon the theme of the piece and what particular style I think is suitable for that piece.

Not all of my art pieces are shown online. Many of them have never even been photographed. For example, my metal and wood sculptures are not shown online, because showing sculpture online really does not do the sculpture piece any justice. Many of my photographic works also are not online, as well as many paintings, numerous drawings, commissions, paintings/photographs that were made as a gift to someone, etc.

The works that are shown online tend to be the ones that are more theoretically and academic. I do make landscape paintings, but I don't show them online often. There are some examples of such art pieces, to give people a broader sense of what I do, but otherwise I simply don't bother to show such pieces online.

  • Bad Vibrations : 2002
  • Acrylic on Canvas
  • A small portrait of Naomi (frequently seen in many paintings during 2000 and 2001). This one shows her getting a "bad vibe" from something, akin to Peter Parker's "spidey-sense".

  • Fantine's Depresion : 2002
  • Acrylic on Canvas
  • Kat (the model from the Mirage Freak Show Series in 2001) poses as Fantine (the prostitute from the French play Les Miserables) sobbing uncontrollably with her head on a pillow. Prostitution, and the depression that comes with it, is a world wide problem that society generally ignores. Trapped into situations which they can't control, prostitutes need outside help from the government to receive job training, a safe place to live and decent pay. In the play, Fantine eventually becomes sick and dies.

  • Freudian Explosion : 2002
  • Acrylic on Canvas
  • A metaphor for war, this painting show Athena in a corset donning a helmet as if getting ready to go to war. In the background is the mushroom cloud of a nuclear explosion. When painting the mushroom cloud I used a photograph as reference which included a hydrogen explosion in the upper atmosphere. I chose it because it was assymetrical and I thought it was more interesting to look at. Not until later did someone point out that it looks like a half-erect penis. Afterwards this painting became the first of many in which I delve into the idea of deliberately hiding a penis in the picture.

  • Italy and Germany Reproduction : 2002
  • Acrylic on Canvas
  • This is a reproduction of a Romanticist oil painting by Friedrich Overbeck, known as "Italy and Germany". On the left you see Italy, personified by the brown-haired girl with the Italian villa in the background. On the right is Germany, symbolized by the German gothic church in the background and the girl with strawberry blonde hair. Historically, it is a comment on how Germany wants to be more like Italy, and emulates Italy in some ways. Its an one-way love, in which Germany wants to "get with Italy". Friedrich Overbeck used two females and underlying lesbian tension to stress the impossibility of Germany ever being able to "get with Italy", and at the same time manages to comment on female homosexuality. Friedrich Overbeck was known as a bohemian artist during his time and quite approved of lesbian relationships. I chose to make a reproduction of the painting, but I also painted it with my own style, borrowing the composition from Friedrich Overbeck but using my choices in colour instead. I also made subtle changes to the faces (the women in the original painting look inbred).

  • Lilith Incarnation #5 : Red Lilith : 2002
  • Acrylic on Canvas
  • In this painting I go back to the earlier idea from 1999/2000 of Lilith Incarnations. I decided to emphasize the idea of freckles, which most people find unattractive, but which I consider to be cute and very attractive.

  • Pacifism : 2002
  • Acrylic on Canvas
  • Some people understand this painting without any need for an explanation. They instantly recognize the two male beta fish (otherwise known as Chinese Fighting Fish) and then spot the hidden penis in the background. Normally, when two male beta fish are placed in a fish tank together their fins go erect and they attack each other, trying to bite the other's fins off (essentially like trying castrate an opponent). Instead the fins of these two male beta fish are limp and they show no signs of aggression. Likewise, the penis hidden in the background is also limp. Thus the painting is called "Pacifism" for a reason and shows a complete lack of "male aggression". Some people don't notice the penis for a long time, and when they do it tends to be a funny: "Hey, what the hell is that? Is that what I think it is?" The painting of the male figure is kept deliberately unrealistic/camouflaged so as to not give away what it is immediately.

  • Self Analysis #1 - #3 : 2002
  • Acrylic on Canvas
  • Rather than make one self portrait, I chose to make three (a triptych) in order to show that I like making a series of paintings. Also rather than display myself realistically, I have chosen to make the paintings fleshy and demonstrate my method of painting in it (similar to the "Hairy Arm Pits #1 painting from 2001). In the painting, if you look closely, you can see graph lines and my method of layering with watered down acrylic. You also see how I create my paintings: With a camera, which is then converted into a raw image on the computer, manipulated on the screen, printed out, graphed, sketched into place, layered with watered down paint and eventually fleshed out with thicker paint until the painting is finished. The background in the triptych mimics the background from the "Italy and Germany Reproduction" above.

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