Artist's Commentary: I'm back after a break during which I moved house and it took a while to get up and running again. Now with the spring well and truly here, a new painting space opening onto nature and birds chirping and the odd hedgehog ambling by (could be an interesting new method of application...) I'm ready and raring to go.
The next few pieces I'll present here, including this one, are hanging on from before the move, and so there's a certain feeling of 'sooo last year' to them for me, but that doesn't change their worth (or lack of it) an iota of course.
I'm actually delighted to see Metro Madness finished (all four of them), as it was an idea for a long time and I'm pretty ok about how it turned out. The modus operani as far as my street art is concerned has also crystalised somewhat: I'll do four of each piece (as above), with variations between the pieces ranging from superficial to quite significant. Two will be placed in Paris, one will be kept and the final one will be available for purchase.
This is quite a pleasing idea, I think, because if you do acquire a piece, it will be unique, but will have two sisters in the streets of this city for as long as they last, and a brother staying with me at least for a while.
As to the actual idea, well I'd had it for a while, this idea of roughly reproducing that schematic which is so much part of our lives without even realising it, the Paris metro system. It's been part of mine for nearly 18 now, and I must admit it's an ambition of mine to know the relative positions of all the Paris metro stations by heart. I always get to about two and a half lines and then go off and do something much more useful with my time, but the dream remains.
This intricate lacework of interwoven lines was perfect for my infini2 concept, with the proviso that some fo the 'lines' became curiously elongated and distorted, falling off one side of the map and mysteriously reappearing at the other, but it doesn't matter, it's art, right?
Here you can see one of the tiles from one of the paintings, featuring a little face as at all of the 'interchanges' between lines, as well as the signiture I've used this time, the infinity squared symbol without the name 'Sab', just to enigmaticise things a bit.
My idea for the faces came from the little circle you got when lines crossed, indicating a connection, or 'correspondence' as they say here in Paris. I got to thinking about all those people devoting so much of their lives checking where their train was on the system and seeing if it was time to get off yet and all the possible expressions they might have on their faces as they did so.
There are so many lives intermingling in any given tube train, it's a little like the metro system itself, all these human interactions, unavoidably coming into contact with other of our ilk and yet studiously ignoring each other for the most part. But in the end all sharing the same concerns, frustrations and, occasionally, a high point or two, shown by a rare smile or laugh in amongst all that frowning and grumpiness.
The picture on the left is an alternative version of one of those above, 'Sneaky' in this case, to show you that the configuration isn't fixed, but that the picture continues all the same. A little like everyone's journeys being different and yet we all use the same system to try to reach our destinations.
A bit like everyone's objectives and life goals being unique, and yet we all have to get along with this society, this body (the one we've been entrusted with) and this bunch of weirdos around us. It's sobering to remember that only once in all human experience are you the only sane one out there. That's your human experience I'm talking about. To everyone else we're just one more nutter, loser or weirdo on the train, that you really hope doesn't sit next to you. They might start talking to you about art or something, and then you'd really be in trouble...
Special Note: The Metro Madness paintings are part of my 'infini2' (infinity squared) concept. They are painted on nine 10.8 cm x 10.8 cm tiles and don't have a fixed configuration. Starting with any of the small square tiles in the middle position, for example, a complete and coherent painting can always be created by putting the others together like a jigsaw.
Any of my infini2 paintings on canvas can be played with in this way, even once the painting is finished, thanks to a special frame and mounting system. So you can, if you wish, create your own, unique painting, and change it around whenever you want. For more information on the infini2 concept, including a demonstration video, go to the infini2 page here. or click the image below.
Let me know what you think - comments welcome as ever!