52” x 102” Unframed 67” x 117” Framed Edition of 12
34” x 67” Unframed 49” x 82” Framed Edition of 12
Most artists are on journeys to unknown destinations; it is the journey itself that is important. As Robert Louis Stevenson said “I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.”
On my own journey, I am drawn not just to what is authentic but what
is fun. The more fun we can have on set, the more chance that energy permeates through the work and others can have fun too engaging with the results.
I have no wish to be too earnest or pompous in my art; the holy grail is simply to produce work that holds the viewer’s attention and hopefully elicits some emotion.
The Cheetah’s Gentleman Clubs dotted around America may not be at the enlightened end of the performing arts food chain, but they retain a presence and a popularity.
Cheetah’s in Las Vegas is perhaps the most famous strip bar in America and was the inspiration for the late 90s film Showgirls directed by Paul Verhoeven, who also directed Basic Instinct.
I knew I had access to the cheetahs of the animal kingdom in Namibia and it struck me there could be an opportunity to visually marry the animal with the association. Our mixed species bar series started way back in 2015, but we had yet to find the narrative for a cheetah. My intuition was that the set should not have a glitzy Vegas vibe, but rather a rough and tumble Namibian desert aesthetic.
The desert bars I know in Namibia are basic and dusty. Some have makeshift walls of corrugated iron and wooden stick roofs that allows for dappled daylight to enter the boxed room. This was my visual prompt for the set outside Windhoek and then all we needed was a cheetah. We were in the right place, as Namibia has more cheetahs than any other country in the world.
I think everyone enjoyed their day on location in Namibia. It’s sometimes the small things that make the difference and I love the sets of white teeth that can be picked up in the distance. I can’t speak for the club in Vegas, but this bar looks like a good place to spend a few hours at the end of a hot day.
~ David Yarrow