As you can see from the photos I did these paintings at the same time. They’re both of people in a state of adulation. I was watching a documentary about The Beatles and it always intrigues me how people lose control of their emotions when they see their idols. I could understand it if you’re devoutly religious and Krishna / Gabrielle (the angel not the singer) / Muhammad / Jesus / Buddha appeared before you - but not a person.
I remember hearing Bob Geldolf talking about a Beatles concert he’d attended. When the interviewer asked what he remembered most and it wasn’t the music or those shaking mop heads but urine trickling down the aisles.
I remember going to see Bon Jovi at the Apollo in Manchester and the squealing girls nearby almost throwing themselves off the balcony to get nearer to Jon Bon Jovi (one girl screamed, “He looked right at me - he looked right at me!”) My mum took my sister to see The Bay City Rollers in the seventies and she put cotton wool in her eyes to block out ear-splitting screams and sobbing.
People seem to put their fingers to their faces when feeling heightened emotion (worry, grief, shock, ecstasy) as though there’s so much their head is going to explode. I put fingers in these paintings which, besides teeth, are not easy to get right.
These women are both in a heightened state of emotion and near to crying. Someone told me that when you get older you cry more at happy things than sad things because we become accustomed to sadness with age but we never become accustomed to something touching.
So here is one painting called Emotion and one called Overspill that go together like bookends.