Thursday, March 1, 2012


The illustration above was created by Richard Warren in 2007 as part of a series called Seven Suicides and was exhibited at St Peter's Church Wolverhampton. The drawing depicts the early 20th century artist John Minton and famous actor James Dean. Minton's life story was a tragic one. In the mid-1950s, Minton found himself out of sympathy with the art trends that were becoming fashionable. Not being an abstract artist, he felt "sidelined". Minton was also seen as an outcast but other artists for his homosexual lifestyle. He also suffered psychological problems, abused alcohol, and in 1957 committed suicide. Towards the end of his life, Minton became obsessed with James Dean and his untimely death in 1955. Minton was fascinated by Dean's devastating car crash and it inspired several of his later work. I believe this is why Warren depicted Dean and Minton together. Minton almost appears to resemble Jesus on the crucifix as Dean gently consuls him. Some believe that John Minton was a martyr for the homosexual community and Warren's illustration strengthens this argument. Warren's style within the composition mimics but does not copy the style of Minton and is a good tribute to the artist's work.

1 comment:

  1. James Dean looks like Fonzy from Happy Days... JK. I think Warren is comparing Minton's suffering and psychological issues to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The moon and blackness of suggest death. Catching the fall, the God-like (preceding in death)James Dean figure is rescuing Minton from a life-long struggle of hardships by providing protection in the afterlife.