Oil on canvas
48.3 x 48.3 cm (19 x 19 inches)
Bronzini Vender Family Collection
The painting Sneeze is the earliest painting in the exhibition, and I was interested in painting these sneezes as a kind of mini-event. I wanted to paint what it actually felt like to sneeze, rather than what it looked like to sneeze. A sneeze is difficult to observe, so it felt like that was maybe the only way that you could paint it, through a way of trying to imagine how that could work. And also a painting, in a way, is a kind of compressed narrative which can happen just with gesture itself; there is a speed to it, there is a moment, and it is a kind of frozen moment. So the woman’s head, her eyes are squeezed shut and I wanted her head to kind of feel almost flattened in this kind of explosion… A very small explosion coming out of her face.