Artist | Painter | Voyeur
The challenge in making a portrait of Gordon Joffe was that he was much more than his handsome physiognomy suggested. Insouciant of the seductive trap of Beauty, this fabulous facade did not limit his curiosity in exploring the world.
Whether fashion, sport, history, travel, food, language, religion…..Gordon pursued everything with panache and creative energy. Friends and family were spoilt by his stylish sense of occasion. Rugby at Newlands was never just another game, and a drive to Paarl was a multi layered outing never to be forgotten. Old or young, learning with Gordon was an adventure.
For me, time shared in the studio went quickly. I included elements surrounding the four heads in the portrait as references to his many worldly concerns. I hope that the work also includes some aspects of his inner world.
The image of ‘Adam Standing’ reaching out for the hand of ‘Eve Standing’ encourages the viewer to assume that when juxtaposed as a diptych, these two hands would actually meet. These works support our intellectual imagination to make visual assumptions that are in keeping with familiar Western narratives of a Utopian promise of existence.
In reality, iconographically these paintings don’t extend directly from one to the other. Interesting Leader/Follower relationships are in question where each of the protagonists exists independently yet comes together on another plane. With no indicators of place or time, the nude figures here subversively co exist seductively and rationally.
Similarly, in building this website, my techno savvy Sister had to take me by the hand and somehow try to reconcile our inherent temperamental differences in another medium.
My website was compromised 2 years ago.
I have always been concerned with maintaining boundaries between the private and the public. Naively, I only realised the absurdity of that dream when my professional identity was put in jeopardy through the Internet. My response was to retreat and hide.
This new website, the creation of my sister Angela Scialom, has allowed me to re emerge with vigour and optimism. Her intelligence and intuitive curatorial rigour have encouraged me to re visit ideas and places long ignored.
No words can begin to express my gratitude to this formidable woman for bringing me (kicking) to a brave new world. I am in awe of her patience, perseverance, resilience, wisdom, insight and endless love. Little sleep, coffee and cigarettes have sharpened her watchful wit…..there’s been no getting away from her celebration of cyber.
Let’s hope I don’t let you down with this blog business……