‘Endgame’, (2011). Oil on linen. 90 x 120 cm.2011
Since I am now elderly the prospect of death is on my mind - however, I am aware that art historians tend to look at the late works of artists in order to detect signs of impending death - so I also wanted to oblige them! In the late 1950s, while an art student, I saw Ingmar Bergman's film ‘The Seventh Seal’ in which a monk - a personification of death - plays chess with a knight. (Of course, no one can win the final game against death.) The imagery stayed with me. It seems Bergman was himself inspired by a church mural in Stockholm by Albertus Pictor (1440-1507) in which a man plays chess with a skeleton. The figure on the right of my painting is my younger self during the 1960s when I used to smoke cigarettes and play chess with friends.
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