This painting is inspired by Sergei Polunin's interpretation of "Take me to church" by Hozier. Polunin responded to music with dance. I responded to both the dance and the music with this painting.
As part of my exploration of In Medias Res, I'm looking at people who make their life's work out of movement: models as they walk down the runway, dancers.
Polunin's dance to "Take me to church" is other-worldly. He seems to have an exemption from gravity at several points in the video, as he glides across the floor and leaps through the air.
I loved the song the first time I heard it but Polunin's dance brings my appreciation of the song to a much deeper level.
When I started this painting. I wanted to capture the gesture in this pose. I didn't want to leave the hands out but in order to include them, the proportions would have to change.
As I worked on the painting, as usual, I didn't listen to music. I wanted to hear the connotations that the image made in my mind. I kept hearing that part of the song where the singer says, "Amen, amen..."
I draw my inspiration for the style of this piece from a few sources. And they are the sources that I've been working with lately. I wanted to use concepts about representing reality from the fauvists: defying the colors that reality presents, broad, expressive brush strokes, bright bold colors. But I also took a page from the abstract painters with both the elements in the figure's body and the background.
It's possible that the title of the song could be conjured by the image ("take me to church") because it does resemble a church stained-glass window. But it's also possible that the abstract nature of the background can be interpreted in an open-ended way. The viewer can see whatever he or she wants as the setting for the figure (either real or imagined locale). It's possible that the location is made up of abstract elementals in one's state of mind.
Where do you think this takes place?