World Record Painting

What is the story behind my painting: World Record, which depicts a mass of nude female bodies in a big studio space? I was making several paintings of nudes and small groups of nudes which were inspired by drawings I made in figure drawing class. I also had painted some abstract paintings with a lot of patterns and structures. I wanted to combine the idea of the nude and the abstract painting. To do that I needed an image of nudes that was about structures. That reminded me of the film Perfume, in the end- scene of this film we see a huge orgy in which all the residence of the city are taking part. I also read the book, but the physicality of the film is impressive compared to the idea in the book. There where shots in bird perspective of this orgy, with all the nude bodies entangled. This scene inspired me to think about bodies in structures, so you have a more abstract view about bodies. I was also thinking about Cecily Brown who also painted groups of nudes as paint structures.

Later I was looking for images of massive groups of nude people. I found images of a big gathering of nude women in a kind of sporting facility. When I researched this, I discovered it was a photo from the world record orgy in Japan. In this photo, you see 500 women who just were undressed waiting next to their mattress for their man to come. It also made me wonder about the place of sexuality in Japanese society, because they were able to activate such a huge group of people.

In the painting I wanted to make an abstract structure of these massive group of women. Therefore, I decided to paint with a broad brush so the women would appear like skin coloured brush strokes. I painted fluent and rhythmical patterns of skin strokes. It also reminds me of James Ensor and how he paints masses of people. When the masses are so huge, it is challenging to paint and the best solution is to make a rhythmical pattern of it.

The painting is also about improvisation and the playfulness of painting like an impressionist painting. The painting looks like one structure of paint, the paint whirls over the whole painting. Background and figures in the middle ground dissolve in each other. The huge group of figures seems to expand endlessly outside the frame of the painting, because of the rhythmical repetition. And even the background seems to expand.

The painting shows the huge amount of people we see in city life. And it is also about voyeurism. But it is the rhythmical whirling, the dance of the painting, the speed of improvisation which makes this painting special.