Painting of the Month, July 2015
This particular work is from a series of paintings based around an idea from one of Steven’s earliest performance pieces called ‘Poised Murder’, which was loosely based on the life of Violette Noziere the famous French murderess and darling of the Surrealist movement.
It is an updated version to reflect Steven’s wide ranging interests such as Film Noire, Polanski, detective fiction, and the landscape and light of the South of France.
The central figure is a quasi self portrait (not done in a self portrait realistic manner but more of a nod to Hitchcock who always figured in his own films).
The paisley pattern background followed on from his painting of Waiting – Paisleycus Byrnicus Virus Invading Mr Gray. The figure behind the chair is a new creation called Babette Noziere imagined sister of Violette who is out to avenge all the wrongdoings against her sister. She is dressed a la Catherine Deneuve (Polanski’s Repulsion) complete with wig, with the sister Violette being pushed to safety from the Phantomas, murderer figure disguised as a lamb. This gives some impression of the crazy yet wildly intelligent way Steven’s literary mind would bring together previous work, with current reading ideas and images.
With thanks to Carol Campbell, July 2015