Here is the second painting for my zoo work so far – Willie the Chimpanzee. I was referencing traditional portraiture but was also informed by Gustav Klimt’s aesthetic.
This painting is in line with an aesthetic I am creating where I combine abstract design with a trompe l’oeil element, in this case the chimp. It stems from my academic background in Aestheticism and Decadence, where art, as mentioned in the preface to Henry James’ The Spoils of Poynton, ultimately triumphs over reality because of its ability to capture a perfect moment. I was also playing with conventions in portraiture, giving the Chimpanzee an almost human quality as well as a general air of intelligence.