John Gelsthorp

One Million Nudes

’84 nudes #2′ – 2002

me none the less. So I started isolating individuals. That’s when the work started to show potential.
The proceeding work is so different to the initial prints.
I’m excited by all the endless possibilities. The spin-off paintings are so much more interesting.

Only the early paintings seem to be of nudes. The later ones have completely evolved away from that proposition. Why continue to insist they are nudes when clearly they are something else?
I called them nudes because they started off as nudes. Well a single nude actually. But you are right, they have dressed themselves somehow and some quite elaborately. The well dressed nudes. I like that. But this has never been a conscious effort on my part. It’s the process. Thinking about it, it’s kind of inevitable that the evolution of the paintings has taken this course, developed in this direction; because you can’t undress a nude now, can you?

Do you feel there is inevitability in the direction the work is progressing and if so where do you think it is leading?
The inevitability I just mentioned is really only in hindsight. I don’t know where all this is leading me. The Dark Nudes series, the latest work, could give some clue to what might further develop. I hope not because I lose interest quickly when things become predictable.