Australian, born 1951; lives and works in Brisbane
synthetic polymer paint on Italian damask
Courtesy of the artist and Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne
Feed presents Jenny Watson’s signature horse motif in a scene from daily life. Since the early 1970s the horse has appeared in many guises throughout Watson’s work, significant for its literal presence in the artist’s life as well as acting as a symbolic mode of self-portraiture. Here, the subject is engaged in the common act of feeding, depicted only by its long neck, straight head, and black protruding eyes. Other details are sparse, with only a small bird and yellow grass to provide a sense of depth, yet the overall composition is rich in colour and texture.
The paint has been applied directly onto a patterned Italian damask of deep red, with the natural edge of the cloth displayed on top of its backing canvas. The use of alternative materials and DIY aesthetics is a closely held democratic principle apparent throughout the artist’s oeuvre, in which formal conventions of fine art are defied. Feed embodies a carefully considered composition comprised of a few key elements to maximum effect.