A postcard showing a stuffed deer from the Museum of Natural History in Halifax, Nova Scotia inspired 'Red Deer'. Having lost the sharpness of the original photograph, the canvas is infused with a snowstorm of dots, dashes and gestures that give the image an overall decorative quality. These brush marks convey a sense of interference and distance, as if the image were a vague memory, blurred around the edges, almost forgotten. Doig's mark making is also notable for its almost childlike freedom and directness; the image becomes almost secondary to the artist's fascination with the possibilities of paint.
Although born in Edinburgh, Peter Doig spent much of his childhood in Canada. Memories of the Canadian landscape infuse many of his paintings, which often seem to represent the point where civilisation and wilderness meet. His works simultaneously convey a sense of distance and uncanny familiarity: Doig has noted among his influences the paintings of Edvard Munch and Edward Hopper, the literature of Joseph Conrad and the horror movies of John Carpenter. As the artist has said, 'A painting has to have a lot of references.'
- Artwork Details: 237.5 x 182.6cm
- Material description: oil on canvas
- Credit line: © the artist
- Theme: Animals, Birds, Insects
- Medium: Painting
- Accession number: ACC86/1991