Human Monkeys, 1990s

I have always had a thing about monkeys from the time when I was a child and first saw them in the zoo.  I was so shocked that the monkeys I saw there behaved like human beings. The way the mothers held their little babies close, caressing, and kissing them. It is was so touching.

The difference between human beings and monkeys is that monkeys are just themselves, naughty but innocent.  All of their scheming is just to obtain very ordinary things. To live life in the moment, like to get food or to be a part of their chosen family group. 

I see the activities of monkeys every day in the place where I live.  There are three groups of monkeys on our farm. The front, middle, and back of the farm each have a team with their own leaders, wives and children. These groups compete with each other. 

In the hot season there can be as many as 30 monkeys jumping and playing in the swimming pool.

These groups of monkeys are happy, they show different moods and kinds of happiness.  They swing in the trees, not thinking of tomorrow like humans. That is the biggest difference between the two species. Monkeys live in the moment and do not think and worry further, as humans do. 

The colours in this painting are very happy. When I made this painting I was just having fun telling a joke through my art. I do think that, by now, if you have seen some of my other paintings you already know my art consists of painted words and stories. My art is painted language.

Each of my paintings has a combination of different elements that help me convey and share my vision. I use  colour in different ways. I use bright colours as stoplights for you eye and dull colours or pastels to slow your eye down as it travels across the painting. I use the movement of a living form to tell a story.  I also manipulate the composition of the painting to encourage you to move your eyes into the direction I wish for.  Such as what I would like you to see first and what I prefer you to notice last.