JP Willis overlays familiar images of weapons of war with a panoply of Nature’s colours. Brooding, uncompromising, masculine, the iconography is a reminder of our cultural fascination with violence as mediated through television and film.
Willis presents us with tanks, re-imagined here as objects of beauty. Arrayed against saturated pigments the impeccably printed weapons each the same, but different. With the camouflage patterns and visible signifiers of one side or the other painted over, literally “made to look good”, it’s hard to determine whose whose ‘side’ they’re on, what’s really going on?
This ambiguity reinforces themes that are central in Willis’s ongoing body of work, Looking for Love manifest again in these new works Kissing Games.
Beneath the surface are tensions and dichotomy, a ‘real’ meaning versus a ‘surface’ meaning. The threat implicit in weapons of war is disguised with sugar coating and candy colours: can you believe your eyes?