The Salesman Painting Series
This was one of the first set of paintings that I made, that reflected my past experiences as a salesman in a Gentleman’s Outfitters in Glasgow in the late Fifties. Prior to this set of work my paintings were non referential, abstract, and avoided any narrative content. This set of paintings tried to show visually how it felt to work in these trying circumstances, and involved some painful memories.
“The Tie Salesman” (1979) stands in front of a line of drawers and tie racks and shoots a significant glance to the right. A characteristic of the Salesman Paintings is the tense relationship between the figures and the very tight space in which they are set. Frequently as in Tie Salesman, “Time Keeping” (1979) or “The Boss is coming “(1979). There is the lurking suspicion that we are witnessing merely an entr’acte and that beyond the dense patterning behind the figures, more activity of even more significance is going on”.
See James Hamilton’s essay for the catalogue ‘artist in residence’ Peter Wilson Ferens Art Gallery Kingston upon Hull 1982.