Paul Becker: Paintings

Paul Becker: Paintings
Library Shelf Location 18.BECK
Publication Date 2003
Description As the curtains draw apart to reveal Paul Becker's theatre, it can be seen that the dramatis personae are mostly animals. Since our experience of animals in pictures derives mainly from childhood – Ratty and Mr Toad, Bagheera and Baloo, Bambi and Bugs Bunny, Bagpuss, does Becker not realise that we have grown up now? Is he trying to spell out a message that we might not otherwise understand? It is clear that we humans have an affinity with the animal (mostly mammalian) world and are less threatened by them than by our own species, so we can think of animals, especially the nice fluffy ones, with tolerant condescension. However, once childhood has vanished, we no longer need animal stories to help us into an understanding of life although we continue to use them as a convenient shorthand for describing people we know and (usually) don’t like. Tiger, bear, cat, dog, goose, cow, ass, snake, mole, fox, rat, wolf, are all used commonly in our culture for this purpose. So because we are used to seeing pictures of animals in children’s books, and because Becker's paintings arouse associated feelings of security and warmth plus an expectation that they are not going to be hard to understand, it comes as a shock to discover that while Andy Pandy and Teddy are, as it were, still present as recognisable symbols of innocence, we are being drawn into an altogether darker and more mysterious world. This is a play for adults only, and the message, in contrast to the familiar, simple, unambiguous scenario we were expecting, has been transmuted into scenes of equivocation, eroticism and violence. "By using these images as tools with which to develop more "adult" themes, I’m hoping to build a layer -cake of meanings prompting differing responses. What is ostensibly gentle, even sentimental, is a Trojan Horse, within which lie darker, more mysterious elements. In the same way, surface humour leads into deeper subjects and emotions." Paul Becker exhibited as part of ‘Ffresh 3’ in 2002, and was selected to take the second slot in the NEW WORK WALES Programme at Chapter. The programme has been established in order to encourage artists to continue living and working in Wales.
Quantity 1
Pages 20
Author Bill Becker
Formats Catalogue, Paperback
Publisher Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff
Related Artist Paul Becker
Months August 2003, September 2003
Category Painting
Keywords Emotions, Eroticism, Humour
Related Gallery Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff
Language English

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