My paintings are an opinionated interpretation of young contemporary society and the differences determined by sense of place and self. My recent group of work is directly influenced by a renewed interest in Italian Renaissance painting. I superimpose fresh and vibrant youth against a historical painting from this area. In the past, I've explored contrasts between unknown models and old world Japan and deep rural America. Comparing historical Italian figures with the contemporary makes this series an interesting chapter in the investigation.

My first step in referencing Renaissance work was to create a fresco to paint on. I built wood panels and canvases to adhere multiple layers of drywall plaster and compound. After sanding the layers, the surface is smooth and ready to be painted on. Next, I reference and appropriate images of young attractive models in striking and sometimes sensually defiant poses. By omitting context and atmosphere from these original images, it puts emphasis on the figures' rendering and how they appear to be aware of their disconnection with the "real" world. In addition, I chose these historical reminders for their backdrop as a severe contrast. The positioning of other elements establishes my visual vocabulary. It also points out the detachment the models have with the background and shows that this most likely is not the type of world they came from. Instead, it emphasizes how it seems to be like a faded memory to them.


© Arthur O. Mohagen III      kate bauman design