‘Le dejeuner sur L’Herbe’ (Luncheon on the Grass) 1996

Appropriation as a post-modern tool offers the opportunity to excite numerous possibilities and re-contextualize visual imagery of the body in a lineage that spans over 2000 years. In this work Luncheon on the Grass I interpret Edouard Manets Le dejeuner sur L’Herbe . The ‘realism’ of this work painted in 1863 was considered revolutionary and perceived to be particularly offensive to morality at the time. Interestingly the public were unaware that Manet had appropriated his composition from an earlier work by Raphael 1520. My version of the painting is designed to evoke the illusion of looking out through a central city office window from a great height. In the mid-ground of the work we encounter an intimate gathering on the astro-turf. One is invited to consider the historical shift where the power dressing of the female company now renders the male in this scene Naked. The warm springtime scene of Manets work is replaced by the cold sterile void of a phallic futuristic forest where mirrored glass reflects mirrored glass and we have long lost sight of the ground. In this voyeuristic world one may ask, is the scene upon which we feast our eyes …the lunch?