Douglas Mcdougall is a geographer of the human face and psyche.
Charcoal-driven perceived notions bound to phrenological psychoanalytical surrealism is the method in which he records the life into his chosen subjects.
In his most recent series ‘A New God’, Theo (the bearded one) plays the Devil’s advocate out to confront new age society’s ails.
Like the anthropomorphic being Golem (from Jewish folklore), or modern day Frankenstein, he is mobilised, pushed out into the forum to confront the only God in man that can lead us through the ever perpetuating paradigm of life.
Inside and outside of who we are, what we achieve and what we do to one another as a the primary species.
The mark of man’s ‘ego’ has always set the terms, ploughed the patterns of education, construction of life and contradictory deconstruction within the human evolutionary pathways.
Is it not wisdom, imagination and willpower that is the only true God, and everything else is just that; everything else…
You are your new God.
‘by carving into the paper in a particular way, one can feel the power and the magic and the luck. The face is a mirror of the soul – for better or worse. Portraiture is my way of understanding and encapsulating the ongoing museum of human experience, to show who we really are, body and spirit’.
Douglas Mc Dougall learned how to draw as a child to pass the time while going in and out of hospitals with a blood disease. He spent countless hours in hospital wards trying to draw his surroundings, and the experience fueled his passion for art.
In his younger years, the 50-year-old artist used to do a lot of pen and ink illustration work during the night, after coming home from his day job, but eventually settled on charcoal as his medium of choice. He is currently based in Scotland.
Traditional tattoo designs, like anchors, swallows, and nautical stars, are popping up on the arms and ankles of kids in every hip neighborhood from Brooklyn to Berlin, Sao Paulo to San Francisco.
Yet these young land lubbers probably don’t even know the difference between a schooner and a ship, much less where the term “groggy” comes from. (Hint: Grog once referred to a watered-down rum issued by the British Royal Navy to every sailor over age 20.)
“There’s no way to take a tattoo home, except in your skin.”
In fact, contemporary tattooing in the West can be traced to the 15th century, when European pilgrims would mark themselves with reminders of locations they visited, as well as the names of their hometowns and spouses to help identify their bodies should they die during their travels.
“The attractions of tattoos for itinerant populations are quite obvious,” says tattoo-art historian Matt Lodder. “They can’t be lost or stolen and they don’t encumber an already heavily burdened traveler, so it’s not a surprise that they became inextricably linked with sailors.”
Though tattooing was already present in much of Europe, during the 1700s, the visibility of exotic voyages taken by the likes of Captain James Cook helped cement the connection between tattoos and seafaring men in the popular media.
The English word “tattoo” is actually a descendant of the Tahitian word “tatau,” which Cook recorded after a stop on the island while travelling in the South Pacific.
Captain Elvy, who worked as a sideshow attraction, displays his beautiful back piece designed by “Sailor” George Fosdick.
European explorers frequently returned with tattooed foreigners to exhibit as oddities in the West, like Omai, the native Raiatean man Cook presented to King George and members of British royal society. Such publicity soon ignited a more widespread fascination with body art.