Monday, 17 October 2011

What's In a Name or My Best Title Ever

111cm x 79cm - Acrylic on Canvas

My parents were very supportive about my decision to be an artist but my father often complained about the titles I give my paintings. “Too prosaic!” he would say. He once suggested that, had I painted it, I would have titled Edvard Munch's 'The Scream' - 'Seafront VII'. He had a point but I deliberately choose bland titles because I don't want to influence the viewer's reaction to the work. For example I rarely specify the geographical location and I resist emotionally charged words or descriptions. I prefer titles that are lists of some of the objects depicted in the painting or an unemotional description of an activity in the picture. Of course this in itself influences the viewer but a part of me hopes that the viewer will be so unimpressed by the title that they will forget it or pay it no heed while they look at the painting. If I was really confident I would just number the paintings. In fact the first big oil painting I did at art school is called 'One' which is coincidentally my second favourite title. However this is the outright winner even Dad approved of it. It is my best title ever – I called it 'Painting'.

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