Skating on ICE during a heatwave: Armitage the Green Gorilla

Posted: May 27, 2012 in Projects and commissions
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Armitage the Green Gorilla - Acrylic on canvas, approx 30cm x 40cm

Armitage the Green Gorilla – Acrylic on canvas, approx 30cm x 40cm

As Ireland is going through an unusual spell of sunny weather, it was the perfect opportunity to take the painting equipment outside and catch up on some long neglected work. I decided to add to my crazy zoo collection and paint a green gorilla. This project has been on my request list for quite a while now (the animal, the colour – this request was precise).

It turns out that my recent brushes with street art – be they interviews I conducted or a stencil making class I attended with Art Clash – have made more of a mark on me then expected. This gorilla came out in a rushed, sketchy manner, quickly imposing itself as something that was to be kept raw and spontaneous. It felt like I was spraypainting him onto the canvas rather than painting him. He just emerged, made of just 3 colours, nearly in spite of me.

I called him Armitage. He’s a futuristic cybernetic creature in a digital world skating on the Sense/Net ICE. Inspired by probably the best book ever written: William Gibson’s Neuromancer. If you haven’t yet read it – do. I cannot recommend it enough.

Armitage already has some fans in the Crazy Zoo target audience, as I returned from a break to find that our young neighbour had interrupted her gymnastics practice on the grass and had sneaked up to the canvas that was drying in the sun. She was just standing there and staring at him. Very cute.

Up next is a very peaceful donkey. He’s 99% complete.

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