"Purple Noon" alludes to the range of colors used in my current cycle of paintings as well as to a film by René Clement (1960) with the same name. In this first adaption of Highsmith's The Talented Mr. Ripley the American Tom Ripley (Alain Delon) is hired by Philippe Greenleaf's (Maurice Ronet) father to lure his son, a wealthy "bon vivant" that enjoys life in Italy, back to the States. After getting involved with Greenleaf, his girlfriend Marge and their profligate lives, Tom eventually decides to murder Greenleaf and to take over his wealth and love.
"Purple Noon" is the fabulous but cold range of colors in which the murder is comitted. Only the blazing sun seems to have witnessed what happened; she stays unchanged in her beauty and cheerfulness. The clear and sharp shapes of the film's images mirror the repellent characters in it. The idiosyncracy of this rigid noon and the distinctiveness it gives to the protagonists almost necessarily call for a collapse in a cruel deed. It is the noon of emotional collision; emotions become interchangeable but the conflict that connects them - the correlation of imitation and actuality - remains unveiled.
It is the films narrative and it's dualities - rich and poor, Italian joie de vivre and American "entrepreneurship" - that fascinate me. It might sound odd at first but topics like "imitation" and the striving after something that eventually shows itself as fiction, interest me as a painter.
There are all these ideas, narrations, never exchanged words and fictional struggles that I have in mind when I think about my paragons in painting. I think about the lionized artists of the past and today with who I compete, who I envy, who I want to overcome; a process that is violent and dramtic in itself. In order to advance my artistic performance, I perhaps work a little like the "talented Mr. Ripley". I imitate, I fake, I improvise, I commit symbolic murders but eventually I produce something new, that saturates with all it's ambiguities into the canvas and continues it's both tender and passionate struggle.