Living on the Edge 

1964 - 1997

Living on the Edge  - 1997

Living on the Edge      1964 - 1997

The original drawing was made on the cardboard base of a block of lined writing paper – essential to school studies. A pendulous organic form hangs from the extreme right edge of a tangle of white outlines, pierced by the space of which it is not a part. The line drawing creates a subtle interplay between the representation of 3 dimensional space and the flat surface upon which it lies. Instinctively, the anthropomorphic character recognises the dichotomy represented by its environment and consequently finds no other place to be than on the edge, if indeed, it is to be at all.

This was one of the earliest drawings made by AMA after starting to study art at school. This piece already shows the artist’s concern for formal but eccentric composition combined with a search for an emotional identity.

An interesting observation was made many years later. When living in Normandy in 1995, AMA bought a traditional style oil painting, 'Palfrenier et Deux Chevaux' dating from 1913; the compositional dynamics are surprisingly similar. What are the chances of such a particular division of pictorial space being the compositional basis of two such radically different pictures, from two quite different periods of time and influence?

In 1997, in another time scale, AMA was browsing the Internet, a relatively novel experience at the time. Being alone in front of his monitor one evening and tiring of his academic studies, a little excursion was made to a web site portraying lovely young ladies, purposely disrobed to enchant those who behold them. Amongst them was a beautiful young Russian whose pose before the camera was such that the compositional format of the above drawing immediately sprung to mind.

It wasn’t long before a little manipulation in 'Adobe Photoshop' brought these two images together; AMA’s response to women is not often thus. However, not being an exhibitionist by nature, the artist's incorporation of the young lady is much sublimated. The original space articulated within this picture clearly opened up a range of associations that were no part of the original school studies.

Original (1964) : Gouache and Indian Ink on card.


14.2 x 19.5 cms.

Private Collection