Despite the innate humour in the work of Liz Arnold, she did not consider her work to be in any way sardonic: ‘There's an assumption that if you work with paint you have to be ironic or cool, or in some way apologetic about it, but I don't feel like that.’ The subjects of her paintings, inspired by film, cartoons and computer games, were part of a sincere attempt to expand the subject matter of painting. As she saw it, the flat surfaces and anthropomorphic figures in her paintings were ‘all very acceptable in the world of the cartoon or on a computer screen but when you do it in a painting people say: “Oh my God”. [...] People are quite conservative about what they can and can't accept in a painting.’ Uncovered depicts a cartoonish, winged insect wearing a transparent bra and knickers, standing between three discarded bones and a dusky industrial landscape. The figure is characteristic of the creatures that populate Arnold’s work, placed in a setting that encourages the viewer to try and create a narrative around the image. Arnold called the figure ‘Secret Agent Greenfly – an eco-detective posing as a beach-holiday-maker’ who is ‘a femme fatale – finely furry all over except her shaved legs’. In Arnold’s words, ‘the narrative is open’, but there is a ‘suggestion of film noir-ish dangerous female sexuality’.
- Artwork Details: 122.5 x 76.2cm
- Edition: No
- Material description: acrylic on canvas
- Credit line: Gift of Charles Saatchi © Estate Liz Arnold
- Medium: Painting
- Accession number: ACC140/1998