Workwear, Lionel, and distressed surfaces…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s instruction is to liberally slap some wallpaper paste on it, apply a sprinkling of sawdust, breadcrumbs, and nail clippings, give it a good thrashing with a rolled up newspaper, fold it in half twice, slip it into an unstamped envelope and post it off to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs by the next available post.

DSCN4007Here is a photograph I took last summer (isn’t it an odd phrase, to ‘take’ a photograph? What other word would do? ‘Make’? One that is often used now is ‘capture’, but I do find that a bit pretentious…) as I walked into the city centre via an industrial part of town – it is a slightly longer, but quieter, route, the alternative being the filthy pavement along the side of a four lane dusty arterial road that screams with large speeding lorries and seemingly organised gangs of jostling bright cars.
This is a puzzling picture isn’t it? It looks like it has been fiddled with on Photoshop, using multiple layers of images, but no, actually it hasn’t. As you see, this handsome young chap advertising industrial workwear, has been printed onto a semi-transparent fabric which has been fastened to a fence. (I doubt this chap has ever been anywhere near a manual job in his life; I imagine the phone call from his agent, ‘Yes, Lionel (let’s call him Lionel) it’s for workwear, don’t bother shaving for a couple of days, they want you to look a bit rough, butch, and industrial…’)
You can see the steel slats of the fence through the image; I’m not sure whether that rusty textured surface to Lionel’s left is printed on the advert or whether it is real – actually I don’t really care. The image of Lionel is nicely spoiled though isn’t it? Are those jagged bits of sky and leaves buzzing around his head? He doesn’t look very happy about it – just look at his eyes!… He’s inwardly saying… ‘Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!…’

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
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