Creation Date: 1993
Creation Date: 1993
Size: 9.8 x 15.2 inch (25 x 38.5 cm)
Media: Color photograph
Location: The Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, UK
It is not often we have the opportunity to see a true masterpiece on this blog.
Unless you have been living under a rock, you are probably aware that today’s work of Art finds it’s home in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh, where it continues to draw spectators from all over the world, year after year. I have often wondered if it is indeed possible to mine the depths of this seemingly impenetrable image which appears to us so complex and yet so simple as it holds us (as subject) in it’s uninhibitedly profound gaze.
|Often called "Moberg's Masterpiece" Duel Portrait of McLean and Welsh|
In it’s quirky, Greenbergian reference to Renaissance dualism, the photographer, or “light-drawer,” vividly captures the sense of sublime, light-heartedness (or is it world-weariness?) between these two authors despite the image’s monumental and idealized quality. This is popularly referred to as the work’s “pub-ishness.”
|An inferior work by Raphael|
We see that the sense of scale and formal elements in this work have been inextricably balanced in a sense of assymetrical imbalance, at once resulting in a sense of calm and excitement with it’s undercurrent of homosexual lust and desire. The multitude of swirling forms and vibrant, analogous colors enrapture our eye as we engage ourselves with the figures, perhaps experiencing a sense of actually stepping between them and drinking a beer and then not feeling thirsty anymore. Boldly interspersed with the suffuse mystery of pre-feminist Lascaux painters, some burning truth seems contained in the dichotomy presented before us. Such as in Warhol’s soup cans, the luminous streaks of tone glinting off the multiplicitous “Beck's” icon continually draw us into a hypnotic sense of the post-painterly abstract capitalist realism.
|Warhol's ingenius sensibilities|
Compositionally, the flawless image alludes, not only to the golden mean and da Vinci’s 1:1.618 ratio but also to the rule of thirds and “the golden hour” making it a matchless graphic-description of our post-post-modern context.
While this image led so many so-called artists of Moberg’s generation to join the new “Casual Photo at the Pub” movement, popularized by social media sites like MySpace and Friendster, this work provides a self-referential hint at the movement’s downfall with a jovial meta-narrative implying a Nietzschian self-imposed consumerism.
The irrefutability of the image appearing in Moberg’s work post-overlaying the image of Christ is as incontrovertible as it is morbidly uplifting. A more profound signification of Eurocentric, white oppression does not come but once every few centuries and we all agree.
|Leonardo predicted "Duncan McLean and Irvine Welsh"|
Unsurprisingly, of the thousands of works in collection of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery this masterful photograph was included as part of the top 200 or so that made it into the "Companion Guide to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery"
Please enjoy masterful sense of mystery and brilliance in the detail images I have provided below!
|Rembrandt-inspired ocular depiction|
|Was this how the artist intended the work to be seen?|
|Clothing has always been an important part of Scottish culture|
|The work's formless confidence led to it's popularity in the museum's gift shop|
|Like a vortex of despair, the darkness of the shirt signifies life itself|