Flowerheads drawing-paintings on prepared paper - 2015-6

Sublimity, therefore, does not reside in any of the things of nature, but only in our own mind, in so far as we may become conscious of our superiority over nature within, and thus also over nature without us (as exerting influence upon us).

Immanuel Kant, The Critique of Judgement, translated by James Creed Meredity. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1964, p. 114.

Flowerheads (2015-6) is an ongoing series of drawing-paintings on prepared paper, which explores the complex and fragile reality of man, (typified by the male/king) and of the foolhardiness brought about by our becoming conscious of our primacy – our heightened sense of superiority over nature, and to our false notion of nature’s helplessness without us. The series is predominantly motivated by Kant’s definition of the sublime as not residing in any of the things of nature, but only in our mind.

Common within all the works is the image of the crown as symbol of power and supremacy, but also of the burden that comes with such authority. Within the series, the crown is rendered in various forms; many times it is drawn as a flower, in agitation; or as a flowery bloom having spikes, and as a cover for the head (a device for the metaphoric taking over of the male brain).

The title of the series is borrowed from urban slang, where a ‘flowerhead’ is a male who is considered cute by the female sex, but also undateable. This metaphor is haplessly extended through its common aesthetic, that of the heads being always shown decapitated and on plinths. The heads therefore become objects of duality – venerated art-objects placed on public show, but also prophetic proof of the fate of martyrdom, an embodiment of the price equally paid for being at the top, or confronting populist opinion or fanatic belief.

Collection: the artist

Flowerheads - 320 x 295mm ongoing series - oils and pencil on prepared paper - 2015 - 2016

VINCE BRIFFA | MALTA | vbriffa@gmail.com

Copyright - Vince Briffa 2016

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