There is not enough money in the world

2017, oil on linen, 67 x 51 cm

Finalist in the 2017 Blake Prize. This is a portrait of my son. In his hands he holds a money box in the the form of a golden skull. It was given to him by and artist friend of mine. As my son was holding it I could not help but feel that this object was ripe with symbolism and wry humour. There is an obvious reference to vanitas in the still life tradition of the Dutch masters.

In a world full of consumerist desires and economic religiosity there is not enough money in the world that I would exchange for my son. Oil painting takes time, as does raising a child. For all the speed and instant gratification celebrated in our society, I begin to understand that human beings do not grow relationally faster. We find out what is important through our time.