ARTIST SHOW STATEMENT:
The paintings of the “Jungle Drums” collection were inspired by a sheet of vintage 1950s “Pinup Girl” decals I’ve had since I was a teenager. The girls, clad in zebra stripes and leopard spots, lounge placidly amongst tigers and panthers and boa constrictors. Even in the early 1980s when I found the stickers, I realized they were sexist, objectified women, and defied the bounds of political correctness. But they were hot - the combination of beautiful women and savage jungle beasts spoke to the part of me that had evolved from a primate in the forests of central Africa. In the decades since, I’ve seen women reclaim the Pinup Girl aesthetic: strong, tattooed models and independent female photographers have revived and revitalized the genre and turned themselves into pop culture stars.
In “Jungle Drums,” the women are always in control. They exist in small patches of civilization carved into the wild undergrowth of the primordial jungle. They have tamed their environments, tamed their exotic pets, and tamed the men in their lives. I’m sure it’s a metaphor for something. But I just wanted to paint women in sexy tiger fur outfits.