Strange soirées


Diane Arbus, Transvestite at her Birthday Party, N.Y.C., 1969


‘For me the subject of a picture is always more important than the picture. And more complicated.’

Diane Arbus (1923-1971)


Boogie's 6th birthday party, 1978


All kinds of images fire up my imagination.

One photo in particular has intrigued me so much that I have created three different interpretations – it is a snapshot of my guy’s birthday party, illustrated above.

The first incarnation, party, was highly influenced by my love of Jean Dubuffet’s art.


Rona Green, party, 1995, lithograph, 17 x 30 cm, edition 4


Then there was Birthday Boogies, a mixed media piece including soft sculptural objects that I call poppets.


Rona Green, Birthday Boogies, 2002, mixed media, 27 x 35 x 3 cm


The poppets were born from a fondness for dolls, puppets and masks. As a kid I adored  The Muppet Show produced by Jim Henson, and the colourful characters of Warner Brothers and Hanna Barbera cartoons.


Jim Henson and Muppets


After Birthday Boogies came Secret Robot Society, which incorporated my fancy of the Dutch Golden Age of painting.


Rona Green, Secret Robot Society, 2002, linocut and watercolour, 49 x 70 cm, edition 13


Favourite artists from this period in art include Rembrandt, Frans Hals and Thomas de Keyser.


Rembrandt, The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp, 1632


Frans Hals, Regents of the Old Men's Almshouse, 1664


Thomas de Keyser, The Syndics of the Amsterdam Goldsmiths Guild, 1627


After making Secret Robot Society I produced two more prints – Treacherous Boys With Charisma and The Ventriloquist – to form a trio of group portraits.


Rona Green, Treacherous Boys With Charisma, 2003, linocut and watercolour, 49 x 70 cm, edition 13


My creative process is very much about collaging together an eclectic range of source material to invent something otherworldly and somewhat absurd.


The dashing Bela Lugosi


The debonair Vincent Price


In the case of these prints I have referenced the Dutch painters along with TV shows, horror movie stars, dolls and puppets, as well as ideas about social hierarchy and esotericism.


Rona Green, The Ventriloquist, 2004, linocut and watercolour, 49 x 70 cm, edition 13


Old time ventriloquist


Thunderbirds - Brains and Scott


And finally I should make mention of the beloved Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake Book!


The Women's Weekly Children's Birthday Cake Book


Boogie's robot cake à la The Women's Weekly Children's Birthday Cake Book


PS: From now on I will be posting every Tuesday – until then, have a good week!


5 Comments on “Strange soirées”

  1. mumdu says:

    Great story. Ahh the Cake Book. How we pored over that as kids.

  2. Mikhael East says:

    Very cool! I love your blog-style.

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