An ongoing series of portraits; 4 to a sheet. These are faces that I’ve grown up with.

The 4 HOT REDS are international Left leaders from newspapers and films that I semi admire because, despite their negative reputations and some questionable actions, they believed in the commonwealth of humanity.

The FORGOTTEN BLONDS are faces from advertising film stills at the front of the Classic Cinema in Hammersmith Kings Street. They enhanced my puberty from the age of 10.

MY FAMILY’S BLACK HEROS are from my family’s (Great Grandfather, Grandfather/Grandmother, Father and Me) interest in and enjoyment of black artists and social reformers. Their contributions to my awareness of the world growing as a child have stayed with me ever since. They are un-named by me as a way of underlining the lack of appreciation of black culture.

FORGOTTEN BLONDS. UNWANTED IDENTITIES. Kind of odd when you see famous folk in a Mug Shot. It makes them seem more real, less distant and more human. Into each life a little rain must fall.

FOUR BEHIND THE THRONES. And who will lead our leaders?

Vladimir Surkov, As the political mastermind for Vladimir Putin for most of the 2000s, Mr Surkov engineered a system of make-believe that worked devilishly well in the real world. Russia was a land of imitation political parties, stage-managed media and fake social movements, undergirded by the post-modern sense that nothing was genuine.

Dominic Cummings, In March 2020, it was reported in The Sunday Times that during a private engagement the previous month, Cummings had claimed that the government’s strategy towards the coronavirus was “herd immunity, protect the economy and if that means some pensioners die, too bad”

Steve Bannon, We got elected on Drain the Swamp, Lock Her Up, Build a Wall. This was pure anger. Anger and fear is what gets people to the polls.” He added, “The Democrats don’t matter. The real opposition is the media. And the way to deal with them is to flood the zone with shit.”

Niccolòs Machiavelli, iMachiavelli considered political battles, not through a lens of morality, but as though they are a board game with established rules. His experience showed him that politics has always been played with deception, treachery and crime.

FOURTH ESTATE- 1. Four women war reporters. I felt irritated when I saw John Simpson on telly walking down a Kabul High Street, Afghanistan, being presented as the first reporter to enter the city, in a Burka, after the Taliban had been pushed out.

I think it may have been Yvonne Ridley, a Sunday Express reporter. She was also taken captive by the Taliban. I don’t think women reporters quite get the acclaim they deserve for the risks they take. Marie Colvin, with the eye patch, is the ‘- 1’. She worked for the Sunday Times and was killed Feb 2021 by Syrian Government forces while covering the siege of Holms.

4 Hot Reds4 Hot Reds 2015. 48 x 67cm. Oil

Blonds 20Fourgotten Blonds 2016. 48 x 67cm. Oil

ChainsBlack Heroes 2016, 48 x 67cm. Oil

IMG_E3987Unwanted Identities 2020, 48 x 67cm. Oil

Four Behind the Thrones 2020, 48 x 67cm. Oil

Fourth Estate – 1 (Marie Colvin RIP). Oil on paper, 48 x 67cm, April 2023

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