Three Friends 2004 oil on linen 60″ x 48″ large detail
Don Doe writes on his pirate series: “My subject is a fantasy of a sexual identity in the make-believe life of a pirate. The theme came to me as a contradiction while reading bedtime stories to my son. Pirates represent freedom, the power to act out our impulses, and serve as a pervasive icon in our culture. However, the image my son carries of the pirate’s life is empowering. In marrying this ideal with a burlesque humor and Disney-like fantasy, the combination is alternately teasing, provocative, tender, and inviting.
Swiping images from Fragonard, fashion, comic strips, history books, pornography and illustration genres these images attempt to create a flawed world where women are dominatrix “Pirate Gals” and men are as ships in a bottle. These phallically potent “Pirate Gals” celebrate pinup representations and wear their sexuality as an identity.
I also draw ideas from my youth, where some of my friend’s parents decorated their homes in a faux Mediterranean fisherman, or Mexican adobe style that spoke of adventures they would never have. I thought about the idea that a person could live a fantasy of adventure and conquest while doing everyday household chores.
Aware of the influences of Pulp Fiction novels, erotic aura is built up by the stressing of luminous color display. I explore the limits of rendering, and use seductive color to intensify the imagery. Alluding sometimes to runway fashion as role-playing, my characters are treated with psychological complexity while remaining candid. The “Pirate Gal” is a phallic goddess and a rite de passage turning toward a new identity.”
Left : T’was Honest Gained, 2004. Oil on canvas, 40×36 inches
Right: Ship Wreck, 2003. Watercolor and ink on paper, 17 x 22 inches
Other works by Don Doe do have an erotic touch too, as the two drawings below show.
Skip the usual, 1999
graphite wash, ink, and resin on canvas
25″ x 35″
Junkyard of false starts, 1999
ink, watercolor, and resin on canvas
25″ x 34″