Title: The Black Flag (after Magritte)
Size: 74cm x 54cm
Medium: Oil on Panel

Additional Information
Link to the Inspirational piece from the collection of National Galleries of Scotland:

René Magritte (1898-1967) - Le Drapeau Noir (The Black Flag) (1937), Oil on Canvas, 54.2cm x 73.7cm

‘The Black Flag’ by René Magritte is a piece that manages to be beautiful yet disturbing; serene yet terrifying. He foresees death from above, referencing the deadly bombings of the Luftwaffe on Spanish cities, using shapes that are partially familiar and recognisable whilst at the same time feeling totally alien. Magritte creates an almost childlike, dreamlike, and otherworldly stage in which the objects hang in an unnatural and threatening manner. We can guess at what they might be, and what they might do, but nothing is certain. This piece has an emotional duality that plays with the viewers subconscious and leaves us unsettled and confused. We know we are scared but we’re not entirely sure why.

The original shows dark shapes against a dark sky; so dark as to be almost camouflaged. Whilst we’re not quite sure what these strange objects are in Magritte’s piece, in my response there is no doubt. They are drones. I wanted to subvert the darkness of the original by making the flying objects in my piece light - almost angelic - sleek with technology and progress. In fact, these are objects we can most definitely recognise as weapons of war in broad daylight. Killers without faces. Beautiful. Deadly. Awful. They hover over an anonymous landscape which perhaps foreshadows the destruction to come. They have no heart and no face. No human mind controls these objects. And, in this way, it comes full circle back to the weirdness and absence of the hand of humanity in the original work. 

Price: £2500

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About the Artist

As an artist David Schofield plays with everyday locations, the omnipresent Scottish tenement building transformed into grand colosseums, the commuter masses into a sea of figures, narratives formed from a mass of people, the archetypal lushness of a meadow and the empty forest. However, within these comfortable stages the foreign or 'unreal' are often placed; candy striped lighthouses planted far from the sea, biplanes breaking free from their moorings, all which add to a specific sense of surrealism and foreboding danger.

The overarching themes in the work are the ideas of stability and safety and the idealised notions of the remote and rural. Narratives born of observations of people, places and situations all contribute to the paintings.

As an illustrator he has produced works for clients such as The Scotsman Newspaper, The Glasgow Herald, Macmillian Publishing, Adobe, The Bank of Scotland, The Leith Agency and Theatrum Botanicum.

In 1997 David was asked by the Open Eye Gallery in Edinburgh to have a solo show of his paintings which has led to many exhibitions throughout the United Kingdom with galleries such as John Martin, London, The Portal Gallery, London and The Medici Gallery, London

Since 1997 he has regularly exhibited work at The Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh and The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts and has been awarded the following awards from these bodies.

Latimer Award, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh

The City of Glasgow Award, Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts

The David Cargill Award, Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts

The James Torrance Memorial Award, Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts

The N S Macfarlane Charitable Award, Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts