Ian Zempech is an anagram for 'i am chimpanzee'. This painting was part of my degree show piece called Primorphia. The concept was based on a fictional character I created (Ian Zempech) who was a man who believed he had the face and body of an ape. No one else could see this but him and he lived a lonely life, isolated by his rare condition dubbed 'Primorphia'.
The actual work was an installation of the sitting room of Mr. Zempech. You could go in and listen to an interview with him describing his condition and his life and immerse yourself in his situation. The painting was one of a number of self-portraits Ian had painted and was on display on his easel in the sitting room.
Primorphia was inspired by installations by Laure Provoust and Grayson Perry but also by stories such as Willy the Wimp and Kafka's Metamorphosis. It was an extremely fun and amusing project to work on and I am considering doing more with the story of poor Mr. Zempech in the future. Watch this space!
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