About this artwork
In this painting, a suited figure (perhaps the artist himself) wedges himself between St Christopher and the infant Christ, and seems intent on guiding the latter to a watery end. The sheep, the hilly landscape and the presence of the Union Jack may refer to the Falklands War of 1982. Campbell was influenced by the stories of P.G. Wodehouse, murder mystery magazines and children's book illustrations. Like many of Campbell's paintings, this work has a surreal quality and features male characters involved in bizarre, apparently nonsensical activities.
- title: Elegant Gestures of the Drowned after Max Ernst
- accession number: GMA 3296
- artist: Steven CampbellScottish (1953 - 2007)
- depicted: St Christopher
- gallery: In Storage
- object type: Painting
- subject: Wars and Conflicts Animals Christian saints Christianity
- materials: Oil on canvas
- date created: 1986
- measurements: 262.00 x 238.40 cm
- credit line: Purchased 1987
- copyright: © THE ESTATE OF STEVEN CAMPBELL
- photographer: Antonia Reeve
Steven Campbell emerged as the leading figure of a group of Scottish figurative painters who began to exhibit their work in the early 1980s. After working as an engineer for seven years, in 1982 Campbell graduated from Glasgow School of Art. A Fulbright Scholarship took him to New York, where he became commercially very successful. In 1986 Campbell returned to Glasgow and continued to develop his distinctive painting style, which often has a surreal and mysterious quality. His last major exhibition was 'The Caravan Club' in 2002, at the Talbot Rice Gallery in Edinburgh. He died on 15 August 2007.