|Fighting a Monster, 1980 (aged 6), crayon on butchers paper|
|Fighting a Monster, 2013 (aged 39), oil on canvas|
I much prefer the original, the energy and drama of childhood drawing is very hard to replicate. Just look at that sorry soldier fallen twisted to the ground, and the steely resolve of the fellow manning the laser canon! It's hard to beat any drawing by a six year old for sheer directness of spirit. The more recent painting was produced for a local exhibition last year, in which artists were invited to revisit some aspect of their childhood self. It's an idea many have experimented with, most notably Dave DeVries' excellent Monster Engine (using other kids' drawings) and more recently the Dutch artist Telmo Pieper. Aside from amusing results, it's an excellent way to reconnect with a very distant (and yet very near) state of mind, enjoying the archaeology of childhood, where many thoughts and feelings end up fossilized on these layered paper strata.