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Iconic Egg

14th August 2018

The fact that a painting of a fried egg, of all things, would take on iconic status became apparent gradually, over the course of years. Without wanting to be presumptuous, I eventually came up with the idea of painting that iconic fried egg in the form of an actual icon: a Russian Orthodox religious painting which is revered and admired. 

Iconic Egg is dedicated to all the fried eggs that I’ve painted over the years. I am surprised and delighted that the image has inspired so many artists and graphic designers worldwide. When I painted the first fried eggs in 1997, I had no idea that the subject would become so iconic for my career overall. I was just painting an idea that I had; that’s all.

As it turned out, no one had painted this subject in this style before, and I slowly came to the realization that there was more going on here. I’ve had lots of time in recent years to contemplate the situation, prompted by discussions, interviews, and the many articles that have been written about it. I really do love fried eggs, and they taste the same all over the world – an easy choice for a non-foodie like me. I really do have a lot of fun painting a fried egg; there’s some painterly rules and guidelines to follow, but there’s complete freedom to go my own way within that framework! And... people love it. They literally egg me on to paint more! That’s the pragmatic side of it.

And why is this such an appealing image? To paraphrase Magritte, this is not an egg. In actual fact, it’s an illusion of an egg, which instantly opens up a whole range of different interpretations: life, the sun, a mandala, geological analogies, etc. It’s suddenly about archetypical and universal metaphors that have roots deeply embedded in our identities. Not that you can see all that right away when you’re standing there looking at a painting. It’s not laid on too thick, thankfully. But even so... The power of the image zings straight to your subconscious, and injects implicit meanings for all your senses into your brain. I think.

I hope this work inspires everyone to enjoy life!

 

































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