Monday, 24 September 2007

10. Composition in Yellow, Blue, Red and Green (“Attack on All Fronts”)

“The most potent memory I have of this particular works (one of my favourites by the way) is of the extraordinary lengths I had to go to in posing the models. I had jerry-rigged a ladder to the wall of my garage that leaned at the correct angle necessary for that feeling of dynamism that suffuses the whole canvas. The top two models held on to poles to balance and prevent themselves slipping off the rungs. That is why their hands are so tightly gripped - I had to paint the poles out. The poor boy at the bottom though had no such support and complained incessantly of back problems throughout the day.”

On its unveiling there was a degree of unease with the evident age and lack of fitness of the central character but Fleydon dismissed these issues with characteristic impatience “They are fools. They confuse symbolism with naturalism. Why the goalkeeper only had one leg so obviously he’s not meant to be taken literally as a goalkeeper, although that might explain why he complained about leaning so much. What I celebrate is a team of three facets –youth, man and behemoth. The behemoth is a centre-back with much experience in his last year as a player who is soon to be ‘away’ from the rest (and hence the choice of strip). Every side has one…every side needs one!”

Public opinion soon swung away from the critics and the composition soon found favour as a poignant allegory for the short life of a footballer

Composition in Yellow, Blue, Red & Green (“Attack on All Fronts”) is currently on loan to the Rt. Hon. D. Beckham and hangs at New Posh Towers, Los Angeles

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