Untitled #01/17 (after Jean-Baptiste Regnault; featuring Alexis)
60 x 56 cm / 2'2" x 1'10"
85 x 91 cm / 3' x 3'2"
Oil on Board
Signed lower right
A Private Collection, Sydney
The 'Education of Achilles by Chiron' painted by Jean-Baptiste Regnault, which Watson has admired in the Louvre Museum provides the ideal metaphor for the sentiment behind Watson's most recent, major painting.
"I found Alexis on Instagram, and he modeled in his uniform for the gay rugby team, the Kings Cross Steelers in London. Unlike the curated 'good' version of life so often presented on social media, I was impressed by his candid posts, including experiencing anxiety, depression and self doubt, and I thought he's helping reduce stigma and educate so many. This helped me in the composition of painting to depict the theme of education." wrote Watson.
In contrast to Chiron and Achilles who are engaged in a lesson of archery, Alexis engages us - Watson's reminder of a contemporary audience and the activism and education of Alexis' Instagram followers.
Emerald green and Prussian blue fabric offer an important counter balance to the overall composition, and Watson's masterful placement integrates Alexis as part of the group and offers a provocative and convincing scene where modern meets classical.
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