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Polychromatic Newspaper Paintings and Replications

Stephen Carter

In late 1996, I started introducing colour into my ‘Newspaper Paintings’. I evolved a kind of colour coding that reflected attitudes to colour embodied in early twentieth century versions of modernism. In my scheme white stands for editorial text, blue for editorial image, red for advertising material, yellow for self-referential promotion (i.e. the newspaper promotes itself) and grey for the gutters. Through this period I stuck with the principle of one-to one scale replications. By 1999 I often made two versions of the same painting: - one abstracted and colour coded and the other a hand-made replication (e.g. ‘Search For The Dead’ 1 & 2). By 1999, I had developed a method using oil-bars in a particular way that emphasised the hand-made and unique quality of the work and gave out a kind of smudged, lived-in kind of look. As these works went on they increasingly privileged the twin themes ubiquitous in the tabloid papers of titillation and tragedy.