I worked in a small antique store specializing on "non-belletristic" books. My job was to make the storage and stock more accessible. As a result I went home with boxes of amazing books from anywhere between 1750 and 1990.
Some unsellable retro porn trash, some beautiful, bound, fashion catalogues, that had mold on them and finally several, severely damaged collections of prints about different cultures around the world.
The three men in my painting are rather a direct quote from a page on Java's native tribes- and farm- culture. I replaced all three faces, turning them into bewildered looking brothers, glaring back at the viewer, everyone equally puzzled. I felt that the face I chose was exemplary of most, within the many pages of said books. An annoyed and interrupted expression, as if caught on camera without permission, maybe not knowing what one of those two things are. I felt like an intruder, i had no clue of their culture and just started assuming what their tools where for or what colour schemes and patterns they might have developed. So relying on what felt good I painted, all the while reading up on how xenophobia and the must-be outdated idea of racial classification, specifically through Kant and Blumenbach in the 18th Century came to be and where it led.
So in the process the painting became about appreciation for cultur.
So in the processs
Save to say I could have painted many more paintings as there's an unlimited supply of information on these issues. I'm sure I'll come back to the matter, when i have something new to say.