The Last Madonna by Mark Sheeky

G960A The Last Madonna
Oil on panel
Oct 2017, 500x750 mm

Detail from The Last Madonna by Mark Sheeky Detail from The Last Madonna by Mark Sheeky Detail from The Last Madonna by Mark Sheeky Detail from The Last Madonna by Mark Sheeky

About this painting
I had often wanted to paint a Madonna painting, partly as a lover of art history and Northern and Italian Renaissance art, in which religious art plays such an important part. How can we depict a contemporary Madonna and Child? The history of Madonna paintings stretches back to the earliest days of art, of icons, and devotional images. Increasingly in the 21st century, links between our past are dying, links to the natural, human, undomesticated, mystical connections between people and between living things.

Machines have been replacing human functions since the invention of the hammer, which replaced the fist, but more and more functions of humanity are being replaced, creating a robotic world. It is this interface between humanity, classical humanity, and technology which has become my main artistic focus and this painting depicts a cut-off point, a disturbing realisation of the division between the natural, living, ancient, and feeling and the technological, mechanical, logical, and scientific.

The wasp is a mechanical creature, almost as much robot as living, and its shape is reflected in the shape of the hexagonal object, a shape that is a little mechanical, and something that is based on a 6-way crystal shape, and so more stone-like than the natural organic beauty of the pentacle.

The unusual green sky conveys an unnatural feeling while the lower half shows nature, a link to the past, with a daisy, the most innocent of flowers, which in its way, also reflects the same bent shape of the wass and the molecule object; reiterating the subtle theme of things bent, inorganic. The overall effect is a sad, and a little disturbing feeling, the loss of what is beautiful and the finding, of what?

The Last Madonna
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