I think my first posting was a bit thin on detail concerning the genesis of this piece. One benefit from this challenge is that it obliges one to account for oneself more fully. This can be a learning thing.
First: the idea. Being an art historian it is only natural that some of western art history has found its way into my thought processes. Without thinking too hard I can mention The Flaying of Marsayus (by Titian), just about any painting of St Sebastian, various saint martyrdom images, the beheading of Sampson etc.
There is also quite a bit of Mr Creosote exploding from Monty Pythons Meaning of Life (brilliant!).
Finally there is all the stuff out there in web land. I am a big fan of Ogrish. For anyone needing a source of really extreme images this is a one stop shop (warning! Not to everyones taste!).
As I mentioned, the emotional relationship between the two characters comes from the brief. That has developed since its first inception, I am now decided that the little man inside the first is the master. I see clearly now that it is a refference to the notion of body and how easily it rebels from being something that we master into something that masters us. The spaceman figure itself owes a lot to Caspar David Freidrich, one of my favourite Germans.
Second: realizing the image. I owe a lot to the vista artifice in classical landscape painting.
Here is one by Gainsborough. I am addicted to this wonderfully effective yet simple device: a dark frame leading to a light toned centre. Many variations are possible within that basic set-up.
I am also indebted to those wonderful people at The Project Apollo Image Gallery. I do not know what I would have done without this incredible resource.
Third: the source material was the easiest part. I used stuff I already had lying around. This is one of my favourite ways of working.
The chest was from a self portrait project I have abandoned. The original image was simply a scanned photo. Not an ideal way of working as the resolution is only just big enough to print to the size I want . The insides were a re-hash of material I found when I was making ‘Loss, Pain and Regret. But Mostly Loss’
Assembling the first draught only took about an hour. Very simple. Been working at it pretty much 24/7 since then.