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Centaur Painting 3

Acrylic Paint on Canvas, August 2000, 75cm x 60cm
Paintings - Centaur 3

Centaur Painting 3

This painting is based upon the same series of photographs taken for ‘Centaur Painting 1’ and taken from a side on position the same as the drawing ‘Seated Woman on Centaur 2’.

The 3D form is again camouflaged by the surface imagery and is placed against a nondescript background that highlights one part of the form and negates the other. The Centaur sculpture is again rendered in same flat colours as the ‘Centaur Painting 1’. Black is used as the edge of the 2D panels and for parts of the surface, along with pink, maroon and blue.

The surface markings on the Centaur are also repeated in new configurations from ‘Centaur Painting 1’ and appear as abstract shapes. The power of the human mind to read abstractions is evidenced in having an ‘eye’ appear from several lines and a blue dot.
This painting became two paintings in one with two distinct halves merging somewhere between the horizontal panel that joins the ‘front’ and ‘rear’ of the centaur.

The right hand side (above) demonstrates the perceptual clues of perspective with shadowing and a contrasting background allowing the form to ‘pop’ out and be clearly defined. The black edge of the Centaur sculptural form gives a strong clue to the 3D quality of the sculpture. Even thought there are no shadows, the 'feet' of the Centaur appear to sits on the brown surface as you might expect of a 3D form.

In contrast, the left hand side of the painting (above) is flattened through a lack of perspective cues. Noticeably, the top of the form is represented by a simple black rectangle being the edge of the timber Centaur form that merges with the surrounding green background. This deliberate alignment of the form perpendicular to the viewer hides a key element for identifying the Centaur form (the upper body and head of the centaur). This not only makes the form unrecognisable, it may confuse the viewer into questioning what the form actually is, as well as which end is the ‘front’ and which is the ‘rear’. Also, the 'feet' of the Centaur appear to be surrounded by the brown surface as you might expect of a 2D image.

The 3D sculpture lives in a field that is almost as simple and stripped of detail as ‘Centaur Painting 1’. The bottom section is a table top rendered roughly and in flat brown. On the left is a wall with a few markings taken from a wall in a painting by Australian painter Jeffrey Smart. On the right is a rich mix of blue and green loosely hinting at some foliage and sky.


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