Following on from my drawing of Joseph Beuys’ Wirtschaftswerte I embarked on the reiteration / translation of another work. Unusually for me, I took on a painting and used a high resolution jpeg of the work that I found online as the source material. As with almost all the work I’ve made over the last couple of years, I cropped the image to a square, turned it monochrome, and superimposed a grid on it. The resulting work is – like the ‘Beuys’ – made up of sixteen panels, each of which is 25cm x 25cm, including the thing white border. When assembled the image is one metre square.
The source is a Caravaggio painting which can be seen in Potsdam, Germany called The Incredulity of St Thomas. It’s a painting I’ve been fascinated by, partly because I am fond of Caravaggio, but also because of the subject matter. It shows St Thomas (that is, Doubting Thomas) putting his finger in Jesus’ side and, in doing so, accepting that He has risen. I’m interested in ideas around doubt and so on, and love that Thomas pierces the wound to get proof. (One of the slogans that Beuys traded on was ‘Show Your Wound’, which plots a tenuous link between these two large works. There’s also a sense of passing through a surface in Thomas’ action which seems like a good metaphor for ‘finding out’.