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Charles Alexander Moffat Retrospective 2005

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Canadian Water Nymph : 2005

Goddess of Moonlight : 2005

I69 : 2005

Portrait of Eve #01 : 2005

Portrait of Eve #02 : 2005

Portrait of Eve #03 : 2005

Portrait of Eve #04 : 2005

Sexual Blasphemy #1 : 2005

Tiger Woman/Daughter of Bast : 2005

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.

  • Canadian Water Nymph : 2005
  • Acrylic on Canvas
  • Sexuality, snow and maple leaves. This painting is basically a tribute to Canadian nude paintings (or rather the lack thereof). Very few Canadians paint nudes. Bertram Brooker, Joyce Wieland, Prudence Heward and Edwin Holgate are some of the few Canadian artists found in history books that actually did nudes. Sadly most people think of landscapes when they think Canadian art. Thus this painting is a deliberately "Canadian Nude". I chose the water theme because I enjoy painting reflections and I wanted to continue the "Salmacis in the Rain" style from 2003. Canadian mythology/native mythology is also sorely lacking. Not many people know that much about the native myths of Canada. In this case I referenced the Greek idea of a nereid (a water nymph who lives in rivers).

  • Goddess of Moonlight/Starlight : 2005
  • Acrylic on Canvas
  • Mythology is the theme again in this painting, with greek columns and a goddess figure bathed in floating stars. Again I use the "Salmacis" style, this time as stars/constellations that follow her around like fireflies.

  • I69 : 2005
  • Acrylic on Canvas
  • Symbolism of east and west. The heart with the 69 in it represents lust, kama sutra and western ideas. The heart with the ying-yang symbol in it represents the duality of love/culture. The heart with the Chinese symbol "ai" (which means love) in it represents 'romantic love' and eastern ideas. The Chinese (pu-tong-hwa) word "Ai" is pronounced "I", and thus "I69" is a metaphor for the duality of love and lust, western and eastern. Even the colours of the painting are metaphors: Yellow is the colour of friendship, red is the colour of passion, and orange is combination of friendship and passion together: Love. Contrary to popular belief, red roses do not signify love. Red roses means lust. Orange roses mean love, and are much more rare. A florist however will argue in favour of red roses because they want to sell you flowers (and they really don't care what colour you buy).

  • Portraits of Eve #01 - 04 : 2005
  • Acrylic on Canvas
  • Biblical mythology is the theme in these four portraits of "Eve". I've been meaning to make a painting of the mythological Christian "first woman" for a long time. As an atheist "Eve" is as fanciful to me as "goblins" and "leprechauns" and I find it extremely funny that people actually believe she existed. These paintings are just small playful sketches on unstretched scraps of canvas.

  • Sexual Blasphemy #1 : 2005
  • Acrylic on Canvas
  • Mythology and religion again in this deliberate "blasphemous" painting. The naked goth girl is wearing nothing but a bracelet and fish-net stockings while she prays before a celtic cross. The actual cross I used for reference in this painting is in Nova Scotia. The black cat with its tail hidden between its legs represents fear and hidden sexuality. The horizon of the Scottish castle in the distance represents mythology/fantasy in a broader sense (and in many ways reminds people of Transylvania). The eye in the cross represents knowledge and wisdom. To me, the religious belief that "sex is a sin" is a stupid one. Knowledge of sexuality is a requirement for a healthy adult to have children (and have fun doing it). Without that knowledge a person is really just "fumbling in the dark". I have loaded this image with lots of metaphors and symbolism. Even the weaving of lines on the celtic cross represents sexuality, like two bodies weaving together to create a perfect union. Some people believe sex to be a holy experience, something that should be embraced wholeheartedly, not something to be ashamed of. Thus if there really is a god, don't you think he/she/it wants us to have sex? Sex is part of human nature. Its something we are supposed to do. Its certainly not something to be ashamed of.

  • Tiger Woman/Daughter of Bast : 2005
  • Acrylic on Canvas
  • Bast is the Egyptian god of cats and the Guardian to the underworld. According to legend, Bast can transform himself into any cat shape. In theory, he could even bear children and have daughters/sons with cat-like abilities as he does. This painting is a play upon the idea of a daughter of Bast. The term "were-tiger" is also a mythology one, similar to the lycanthropic curse of the werewolf.

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