Modern Hell. Oil on Canvas (diptych). 73’’ x 49’’ x 1.5’’ in a wooden box frame painted white.
We live in tumultuous times where traditional parameters and frameworks of life are being challenged and threatened by terrorism, war, the over-exertions of the mass media, brittle economic structures, over-population and the huge gap which is developing between those generously blessed by wealth and circumstance and those who have little but vulnerability and poverty.
Dowdeswell’s latest epic painting draws on the current threats to civilisation while also casting back through the annals of art history to analyse how art and society has dealt with challenges to its core values in the past.
Arranged as a diptych the painting itself is a clash of ideas and ideologies, a battlefield filled with skeletons, demons, screaming babies, migrant ships, stocks and shares, a belly full of big brothers, superheroes, oil fields, spewing dollar bills and sparkling coins. Within the commentary Dowdeswell pays homage to Brueghel, Bosch, Singer-Sargent, Bacon and Gauguin suggesting society has fought, coped and prospered against similar foes and trials in the past and inherently it can do it again.