The original was created using oil on canvas.
Scottish born artist, Peter Doig, moved to Canada from Trinidad when he was seven years old. As Trinidad has no winter, with its lowest temperatures at night averaging 75 degrees, this sharp contrast in weather had a profound effect on the artist. At 19 years old, Doig moved to London to attend art school, and it was then that he began his fascination with painting the snow-covered memories of his youth.
Charley’s Space was the first of Doig’s snowy landscapes, and like all of his work, it alludes to existing images stored in his collective memory. Here he takes images from his personal archive – family photographs, newspaper and magazine cut-outs, record covers, postcards, etc. – and weaves them together to create something entirely new. He invites the viewer to explore his memories in their own way. Doig writes, “Seeing a play, listening to music - you’ll always contextualize it in your own way. Whoever you are, I think that’s really important.”
Also, central to the artist is the idea that our memories are distorted over time. As we age, we tend to piece specific memories together into a new visual tapestry, which is what is happening in Charley’s Place. It is not merely a snapshot of a Canadian landscape, but rather a combination of the artist’s memories. The giant orb filling the picture plane is a reference to the opening scene from the 1941 film Citizen Kane*, which is fittingly one of the most famous flashback scenes in cinematic history. While the orb references Orson Well’s film, you as the viewer are invited to add your own meaning. Is it a theatrical spotlight? A cast shadow from something looming outside the picture? A speech bubble from the figure on the right?
Do you have a box filled with your special memories? Gather together some of your memorabilia and create a collage fusing some of for favorite moments.
*Scene from Citizen Kane at mark 2:34.
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*The Emergency Art Museum claims no ownership, or copyright to any materials found here, or on-site. The Emergency Art Museum functions solely as a non-commercial, non-profit, educational resource for the community. All artwork represented or reproduced, has been done so for educational purposes only under the fair use act.
-Johnny DePalma, Owner / Curator
-Janelle Graves, Art Historian / Museum Educator