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About the work

This painting came from a childhood memory of being good, of always doing what I thought was right and following my parents' advice dutifully - like I was a little soldier. There is a line n a song by the band New Order to this effect - and it got me thinking about my childhood. In this image the soldier, who appears to come from another era, is off duty and is smoking and pensive, and maybe tired from his duties. When the idea came to me I also thought of the Mexican freedom fighter, Emiliano Zapata, who said something along the lines of: "it is better to die on my feet than to continue living on my knees". In other words, you have to take risks and fight to be free in this life. And maybe this soldier is about to rebel, mutiny or desert from his former role.


PublisherMichael Hayter
Certificate of authenticityIncluded

About the artist

I'm primarily a figurative painter of the human condition, taken from the perspective of personal experience. Although I originally trained to be a veterinarian, I have always drawn and painted and now balance my life between these two disciplines. My work really started when, having suffered for many years with depression , I began to create from this dark space and found a rich seam of both imagery and meaning there – with all the moral and existential difficulties it presents. My childhood is a powerful influence and a rich source of material. This has led to a flowering of creativity that touches on the profound, and often religious or spiritual experiences of being human. I went to art school in London in the '90s and now have a studio at Spike Island Artspace, a world-renowned centre for contemporary art, situated in Bristol, UK Having worked in a variety of media, I'm now predominantly focuses on painting and drawing but also recently branched out into sculpture and animation. I have exhibited in London, Bristol, Bath, Cambridge, Nottingham, Bordeaux, France (2015) and Maastricht, Netherlands (2016). I have collaborated with French artist Olivier Specio on the project At Last We Fly (2015). My work is features in private collections in the UK, France, Belgium, Holland and the US.

Other work of Michael Hayter

Old Man, Seated
Painting, 30x30x3 cm (w/h/d)
A New Arrival
Sculpture, 150x174x80 cm (w/h/d)
Painting, 26.8x35.5x0.1 cm (w/h/d)
The Spirit Of Self-Reflection
Painting, 36.5x27.5 cm (w/h)
Man With A Ball Of Soil
Work on paper, 25x30x3 cm (w/h/d)
Jacob And The Angel
Work on paper, 26.8x36.1x0.1 cm (w/h/d)
Hugging The Blackthorn
Painting, 7.7x12.7 cm (w/h)
An Uncanny Landscape
Painting, 154x177x5 cm (w/h/d)
Ship Of Fools
Painting, 22x16 cm (w/h)
The Boy With The Golden Crab
Painting, 12x15 cm (w/h)