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The Shock of the Dude

A new series of work by Sam MacInnes

‘During conversations with Leo, the Director of the gallery,  we talked about my Fine Art degree and our joint passion of Art History. This led me to complete a series of Dudes that were spawned from famous works throughout art history, and the way they have previously been analysed.

It got me thinking, not about art, but about history, and what the word meant to me. It held a nostalgic element, like it would for anyone. Drawing me back to Glasgow and the eternal ties I have to the city and its people.

As a result, I decided to take a trip back home, let the London dust settle (literally and metaphorically lol), and take a few days away from the madness that surrounds my life to really reconnect with the place.

What you lovely people are left with then is a series of seven works that reference myself, the city of Glasgow and my life through art historical references…but with a very dudeish and contemporary twist.’

This new series coincides with our release of a full length interview with Sam, about his practice and background. Have a look at it on Youtube here


We decided to present these works in mocked up gilt frames, playing on the context the original works are found in. 

Each work is £80, A5, Oil Pastel on card and is an original.

“Les Ours de Poussiereux”

To all you non-French speaking dudes out there, “The Bears of Dusty”, takes direct reference from Pablo Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles D’avignon”.

The work references my recent time spent at “Dusty Flyers Club” a dance music festival that took off on its maiden flight this year, with the “bears” alluding to my close group of friends.

There was something about the disjointed form and wild anatomy of the figures that I felt was somewhat like my experiences at the festival. Under the influence of a cocktail of drugs and alcohol, my sense of reality was highly altered for two days. The way things looked, sounded, smelled, tasted and so on; everything was a hazy blur of colour and sound before me.

Moreover, Picasso’s influences from Iberian Sculptures and African masks led me to think of the ritualistic and tribal characteristics of people gathering at a music festival. Lost in trance and a sea of coordinated rhythm, dancing deep into the night. Forgetting their own reality through altering their state of conscious…It all seemed very fitting.

Klimt’s portrait of Adele Bloch Bauer, in all its unnatural, almost geometric, beauty swayed my thought towards the modern world and what people see as beautiful today.

I have depicted here, the modern dudette before her big night out in Glasgow. Clutching her Louis Vuitton bag, tattooed, cosmetically enhanced and all dressed up, she sits perfectly in this unnatural domain she finds herself in.

Her fineries mask the key issue here however, the matter of the pressure placed upon people to look good in order to feel good. This is a threatening problem in today’s world and something I believe needs stamped out.

'Portrait of a Sanc Girl'

'Self Portrait with Bleeding Nose'

I tried to compare myself to Van Gogh here, particularly his self-portrait with his bandaged ear. I am not trying to compare myself to potentially the most famous artist ever here, I’m not that delusional, but I did see some similarities in terms of how we both led our lives.

Substance abuse and mental health issues were the two areas I saw comparisons within. My frequent use of drugs and consumption of alcohol being responsible for the latter.

I have tried to capture myself in a similar style to Van Gogh. I situate myself in the early hours of the morning arriving home, my eyes darting around like pinballs, with my nose burnt out and bleeding. My mental state here is very vulnerable as my heart thumps against my chest like a crazed drummer.

It is these exact vulnerabilities and anxieties that only I see that I wanted to put forward to the viewer.

We’ve all been there, myself more times than most, waking up with a headache from hell and a memory that’s lost in translation.

This slightly worse for wear dudette, fresh out the shower in her towel and dressing gown lighting up her cigarette is my hungover take on Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring”.

I tried to completely contrast Vermeer’s work, where his sitter appears pure and beautiful, I have tried to capture the bleakness of a hangover. Capturing my sitter at their lowest point.

'The Girl with the Bangin’ Hangover'

'Max’s Bar Girl'

Manet’s “Bar at the Folies-Bergere” drew me towards Max’s Bar in Glasgow. With both works being popular music and drinking spots in their respective age.

In Manet’s work, the barmaid seems to be just another item for the gentleman in the reflection to consume, much like the cans of red stripe or bottles of wine in Max’s.

This led me onto the idea of the bar girl, and the hoards of men who seem to think they’re in with a shot. Here we see a dude trying on his luck. Drunk and overly confident trying to make his move, only to be greeted by the rolling eyes of the bar girl. The first but certainly not the last time she will have to do this tonight.

Here we see a group of students sat on the hill in Kelvingrove Park passing round a joint. The work tries to emulate Manet’s “Luncheon on the Grass”, a work that was notorious for its controversy at the time.

Manet’s rebellious nature to capture the world that existed around him, and not capture traditional ideals was what spawned the idea of the stoner students.

So often, these students are ushered along by police, or told off by ignorant yuppy dog walkers. However, the reality is that this is the world these people live in now and they must come to that realisation.

'The Doobskin on the Grass'

'Casa Rosso'

The controversial subject matter of Manet’s “Olympia” of the sitter being a prostitute led my mind astray. It made me think of the concept of one-night stands, the animalistic nature being something that radiates in my own work, making it an appropriate subject matter. My cartoonish style often juxtaposes my bleak subject matter, and that is no different here.

A dudette is sat upon a bed, flustered and unsatisfied as a dude rushes off hastily into the night, both feeling a deep sense of regret and left feeling filthy. She looks longingly towards the viewer, much like in Manet’s work. However, in this case it is not a mating call, but more of a cry out for help towards the unsettled viewer.

This new body of work is exclusively available through The Rafiki Gallery. For enquiries, please contact sales@therafikigallery.com

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