Parties

Hochzeit oil on canvas 168 x 220 cm 2021

Parties

The Oxford Dictionary of English[1] defines the word ‘party’ as:

Party noun (pl. parties)

  1. A social gathering of invited guests, typically involving eating, drinking, and entertainment: an engagement party.
  2. A formally constituted political group that contests elections and attempts to form or take part in a government: draft the party’s election manifesto.
  3. A group of people taking part in a particular activity or trip.
  4. A person or people forming one side in an agreement or dispute: a contract between two parties.
  5. Informal: a person, especially one with particular characteristics: an old party has been coming in to clean.

verb (parties, partying, partied) [no obj.] Informal: enjoy oneself at a party or other lively gathering, typically with drinking and music: put on your glad rags and party!

  • PHRASES Be party (or a party) to be involved in: he was party to some very shady deals.
  • ORIGIN Middle English (denoting a body of people united in opposition to others, also in sense 2):from Old French partie, based on Latin partiri ‘divided into parts’. Sense 1 dates from the early 18th cent.

When is a work break a party?

According to the saying, ‘a picture paints a thousand words’[2]. However, one word with contemporary resonance has multiple meanings and engenders unlimited visual manifestations. At a time when words and their meanings are more fiercely debated than ever, this project explores some of the visual dimensions of one of the most compendious and controversial terms of all. From family celebrations to political associations, Parties evokes a range of phenomena that may have purely recreational, or alternatively, world changing significance.

Parties brings together the domestic shindig, Communist and Nazi visual culture, home movies, Christmas, wedding, birthday and work bashes, exploring the extraordinary range of images that language can evoke.

Combining paintings based on amateur photographic source material sourced from flea markets, with artefacts and objects drawn from the artist’s own collection of vintage propaganda material, Parties takes a historical perspective on the power of the word to shape our lives.

Marz 1961 (1) oil on canvas 122 x 174 cm 2021
Marz 1961 (2) oil on canvas 92 x 132 cm 2022
Au Boeuf sur le Toit oil on canvas 153 x 202 cm 2021

[1] Soanes, C and Stevenson, A. (2005) Oxford Dictionary of English (2nd Ed) London: Oxford University Press.

[2] Attributed to Frederick R. Barnard. First appeared in Printer’s Ink in December 1921.

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