Representational painting inherently deals with seeing and being seen. In art, things are revealed to us, and at times we regret this confrontation; Goya deliberately made his etchings, called The Disasters of War, very painful top look at. We often study the human figure with mixed feelings; are we happy participants or guilty voyeurs? I’ve always been interested in the threshold between order and disorder, between being reassured and being implicated. A project set in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, at a series of waterfalls called Diana’s Baths, drew on the myth of Diana and Actaeon, almost a distillation of issues of privacy. The goddess Diana and her cohort is surprised by a hapless male hunter, who is punished terribly for his inadvertent transgression. When I saw mothers protecting their children from potential harm, including even the guileless gaze of male swimmers, I saw a Greek myth magically merge with our current world.
I’ve been working this way, trying to find topical subjects that resonate with timeless human experience, for four decades now. I usually set figures invented or observed into locations almost like stage sets, making for a visual story somewhat the way theater functions.
Contributions by Lincoln Perry
Diana and Actaeon; Ancient Myth as a Parable for Modern Privacy
Speaker at Global Privacy Summit 2017