BLACK PAINTINGS

22 May — 24 May 2017

When Goya competed his 14 Black Paintings on the walls of his Chateau outside of Madrid he was 74 and as was revealed in his etching series Los Caprichos and Disasters of war, he had witnessed much of the dark side of humanity.  I am 68 and have been a witness to many wars but in Afghanistan I am helping art to fight back with optimistic sponsorship of the Yellow House Jalalabad.

My Black Paintings started on the roof of the Yellow House where I painted with US attack helicopters buzzing overhead and drones flying out to deliver their hell fire missiles in the countryside.  Always in the back-ground I could hear automatic weapons, mortars and cannon from the constant fighting on the outskirts of the city, between local forces and Islamic State.  Children who have worked in our films have been kidnapped by IS and forced to carry guns and witness atrocities.

The paintings in this show were unpinned from their stretcher frames, rolled into drain pipe cylinders, made the dangerous drive up to Kabul on our vehicle’s roof-rack and then airfreighted back to my studio in at Werri Beach on the idyllic South Coast of NSW.

Simultaneously, while doing the Black Paintings I began illustrating a comic titled War Dog. This parallels Goya’s Black Dog painting where a dog’s head is seen struggling above rising flood waters.  I am hoping this will be the first of many comic books produced by our new publishing enterprise, Night Vision Comics.  In a way, the large number of etchings Goya made for Los Caprichos and Disasters of war were a kind of pioneering comic production. 

I do not believe Goya was mad or pessimistic when painting the fighting giants and witches in trees of his black paintings, any more than I am. The human species has a dark side which needs to be acknowledged or we will never evolve beyond it.

The dark works of human culture have a beauty that speak truth to the soul equal to the way blues music speaks to our emotions through memories of heart ache. 

……. and who would dare to say, “Black is not beautiful”.

George Gittoes
May, 2017 

VIEW FULL CATALOGUE WITH WRITTEN DESCRIPTIONS FOR EACH PAINTING 

\ Exhibition featured works

Bulldog

2017 \ Oil on canvas \ 42.5x43cm

Dog

2015 \ Oil on canvas \ 20x20cm

SOLD

Kuchi Puppy Tora Bora

2017 \ Oil on canvas \ 100x75cm

Leadership

2017 \ Oil, clear varnish and automotive metal flakes on canvas \ 167.5x213cm

HOLD

Lincoln

2017 \ Oil on canvas \ 91x60.5cm

Locking Horns

2017 \ Oil, clear varnish and automotive metal flakes on canvas \ 194x274cm

Shazia - Shoe Shine Girl

2017 \ Oil on canvas \ 100x75cm

Smoker

2010 \ Oil, clear varnish and automotive metal flakes on canvas \ 200x160cm

Stainless Steel

2017 \ Oil on linen \ 42.5x43cm

Staying Alive in Dark Times, Study

2017 \ Oil on canvas \ 75x100cm

Staying alive in dark times

2017 \ Oil, clear varnish and automotive metal flakes on canvas \ 167x260cm

The Choice

2017 \ Oil, clear varnish and automotive metal flakes on canvas \ 100x75cm

The Clown 1

2017 \ Oil on canvas \ 15x15cm

The Clown 2

2017 \ Oil on canvas \ 15x15cm

The Clown 3

2017 \ Oil on canvas \ 15x15cm

The Great Mystery

2017 \ Oil, clear varnish and automotive metal flakes on canvas \ 183x213cm

The Nuclear Trump

2017 \ Oil, clear varnish and automotive metal flakes on canvas \ 244x194cm

Tora Bora

2017 \ Oil, clear varnish and automotive metal flakes on canvas \ 155x210cm

Tora Bora Puppy

2017 \ Oil, clear varnish and automotive metal flakes on canvas \ 198x102cm

SOLD

Untitled Dog

2017 \ Oil, clear varnish and automotive metal flakes on canvas \ 74.5x100cm

SOLD

\ George Gittoes with paintings at Yellow House, Jalalabad

2017

\ Other exhibitions

Matthew Quick

Bling

16 November — 2 December 2017

Paul Ryan

The Colonies

26 October — 11 November 2017

Many Hands, Home of the Namatjira Artists

Group Exhibition

10 October — 20 October 2017

Contact Us

to find out more about BLACK PAINTINGS.

12 - 14 Meagher Street Chippendale, NSW 2000
Opening Hours
9am - 5pm Monday to Friday 11am - 4pm Saturday