Mike Parr
SALTO MOR­TALE: THE NOTH­ING SELF PORTRAITS

30th March – 5th May 2007
Anna Schwartz Gallery

I began The Noth­ing Self Por­traits by going back to my archive of study draw­ings of the 1980’s. Rep­e­ti­tion was the start­ing point but almost imme­di­ate­ly I began sub­sum­ing this mate­r­i­al in a pecu­liar way, because my strongest impulse was to over draw the copy, not to oblit­er­ate it but to take the process of draw­ing beyond what was required. I often found myself draw­ing beyond the point where the like­ness of the like­ness had been estab­lished, and it was out of this excess that indi­vid­ual draw­ings and the series as a whole emerged.

I kept think­ing two con­tra­dic­to­ry thoughts. First­ly, that the last twen­ty years of print­mak­ing had been put aside, bro­ken off into paren­the­ses and then, that the return to the 1980’s study draw­ings meant that I was treat­ing these orig­i­nal images like prints.

Many of The Noth­ing Self Por­traits also uti­lize the divi­sion between self por­trait and response that I adopt­ed in the 1980’s but now the response is often a cur­rent self por­trait, and the style of draw­ing is rad­i­cal­ly loose in com­par­i­son with the pho­to-real­ism of the 1980’s.

I had to find some­thing acer­bic in this encounter. I can’t real­ly describe it in words, but the strength of the con­trast actu­al­ly uni­fies the draw­ing as a work. This con­tra­pun­tal form also extends to the colour, which is often a colour­field in con­trast to the fig­u­ra­tion. In a sim­i­lar way, con­struct­ed spa­tial zones bla­tant­ly con­tra­dict blank expans­es of paper on which draw­ings sit superficially.

Bla­tant is a sug­ges­tive word, because I want the view­er to see that I am both con­duct­ing an orches­tra­tion while simul­ta­ne­ous­ly play­ing a part, and this process of deeply qual­i­fy­ing the fig­u­ra­tive con­struc­tion means that the The­atre of Self Cor­rec­tion, 1979 comes to the sur­face as a process of endistancing.

Images

Mike Parr

The The­o­rist is a Snake, 2007
Colour, Giralt pas­tel, char­coal on Tamaroll paper
200269.5 cm

Mike Parr

In the Nursery, 2007
colour, acrylic, Giralt pas­tel, ink, char­coal on two can­vas panels
238180 cm each

Mike Parr

God’s Beard Comes Off, 2007
colour, Giralt pas­tel, char­coal, ink on Stone­henge paper
127259.5 cm

Mike Parr

The Beyond, 2007
Colour, acrylic, Girault pas­tel, char­coal on canvas
Three pan­els, each pan­el approx­i­mate­ly 200180 cm

Mike Parr

Invis­i­ble Women, 2007
Schmincke pas­tel, water­colour, char­coal pen­cil on Tamaroll paper
127240 cm

Mike Parr

Jouis­sance wins the Mel­bourne Cup, 2007
Colour, acrylic, Girault pas­tel, char­coal, ink on canvas
Dyp­tych; each com­pris­ing two pan­els 186200 cm each (x4)

Mike Parr

Aus­tralia Day, 2007
Char­coal and graphite on Tamaroll paper
200258 cm

Mike Parr

Beau­ty Between Blood and Milk, 2007
Girault pas­tel, char­coal pen­cil on back­drop paper
101.5265 cm

Mike Parr

Bootlick­er [The Mir­ror of Pure Life], 2007
Girault pas­tel, char­coal on Stone­henge paper
127250 cm

Mike Parr

Divine Aban­don, 2007
Schmincke pas­tel, ink, char­coal pen­cil on back­drop paper
134240 cm

Mike Parr

The Trin­i­ty of Bones [Dago, Poofter, Dim Sim], 2007
Three bar cast wax construction
480240 cm