The Life of John, not Monty Python

LA: So John, what is this painting all about?

JK: I was hoping you could tell me.

LA: Really…?

JK: It was a photograph of a storm over Table-bay on 22 April 2017. It was in the Times and it showed a stormy sky which to me looked purple, and had a single bolt of lightning. I painted the original picture in about an hour, which is rare for me as I usually take six to nine months on a painting.

LA: That is long, just like the Old Masters. Why did this one take only one hour.

JK: That was because it was very simple.

LA: So what happened then, and where does the snake and the fish come from…and what about the harbor cranes. Surely there is a deep and hidden meaning in this. Come now, spill the beans.

JK: I decided the painting was so boring, that I added yellow ocher, red and white brush strokes, from the middle upwards. I felt that the purple background had to become something more assertive.  It first become a blood bloated tick. But I disliked it so much that I attacked it with a palette knife. It changed into a crow, to which I added the necessary details. What happened here prompted and continued in the rest of the painting.

Very simply put, this has developed out of its own origins. What is put down very strongly influences what is to come, because they will balance each other out. That was not what inspired the painting but lead me to understand it. Why I did what I did. The balance I refer to is the positive and the negative, the good and the bad. It grew out of me.

LA: Let see what the other students say.

R: I see organized activities at different levels, which starts in the human being itself. That what lies underneath in the subconscious mind. He will not be able to tell what it is before he actually painted it.

N: I see Johns dreamworld, things that he likes and dislikes. Its a very symbolic painting.

J: I see a spiritual vision with the enemy falling from the sky. I see the garden of Eden, with the snake threatening the city, that represents human life. When you see Abraham Lincoln rising above everything it gives you faith in the good. I also see buildings that looks like cathedrals. The Guarnica bull makes me think of a sacrifice. The fishes represents provision. I find it a very thought provoking and interesting painting.

T: I think he just smoked too much dope in his youth.