Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Soap opera

Pursuing Snoop Dogg's inspiration for Shane Cotton reminded us of how often these sorts of connections are repeated in art writing without us getting to see pictures of the sources. One very famous example relates to how Colin McCahon got the idea of using voice bubbles for paintings like The King of the Jews and Crucifixion according to St Mark from the back of a Rinso soap flakes packet. 

The source of this brilliant connection is, as is so often the case, McCahon himself this time in a letter to collector and friend Rodney Kennedy. “The inspiration – the legend from a Rinso packet… the use of legend with space composition could be very telling,” McCahon wrote to him in 1947.

And telling is the word when you find the Rinso packet in question (thanks Google). But you should also check out McCahon's Crucifixion according to St Mark of the same year. Here the idea of arranging voice panels around the image appears to have come even more directly from the Rinso design. 

You can see images of Colin McCahon’s King of the Jews here here and his Crucifixion according to St Mark here