By Marc Alexander from his ‘Touch’ exhibition. ‘Croupier’, Pencil on 300g Archival Paper, 10cm by 14cm, (2013).
The croupier or dealer appointed at a poker table assists in the conduct of the game, especially in the distribution of bets and payouts. Despite the croupier’s friendly demeanour, it is important to remember that he is employed by the casino to take your money, he is not your friend. He is only loyalty lies with the house that never loses.
After a long season of producing portraits in oils, I returned for a while to the humble pencil. The ‘Touch’ exhibition, which opened at the Studio Gallery Kalk Bay on Friday June 14th 2013 and ran until July 3rd, was the result of that experience – a true celebration of the beauty and expressiveness of the human hand.
Several months before this show, a group of us artists got together in the studio to work on life drawings, and for me, hands are one of the most difficult parts of the human body to draw, so I decided to master this challenge by producing one hundred detailed drawings. Friends, family and even casual acquaintances, modeled their hands for me and in each drawing I tried to capture the unique character of each individual.
A great deal could be learned about a person just by observing their hands. For example, the slight hand gestures of a person in love, or the anxious mannerisms of the addicted smoker clutching his last cigarette, or the telltale scars and callouses which belong to a hard working laborer. The hands are young and old, lined and smooth and endlessly expressive and tell a hundred stories which are all captured in my hyper-realistic style.