Douglas Gordon (1966-), Monster Reborn, 2002
Douglas Gordon is one of the most prominent artists to have his breakthrough in the 1990s, an epochmaking and much discussed decade within British art. Identity and selfrepresentation are central themes in his work.
From time to time he leaks autobiographical information to the public, but always in such a way that their reliability is questionable. He practises ambiguity – for example, his upper arm bears a tattoo saying Trust me, creating a pun on the artist’s integrity and the statement’s inherently dubious nature.
A double portrait
In Monster Reborn he sits next to himself in a double portrait. One of the images shows him as a perfectly ordinary young man, while the other is a distorted mirror image of himself with tape criss-crossing his face. A representation of a split personality where the artist refers to e.g. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, creating a picture of his own inner monster. At the same time, however, the picture takes on an ironic feel due to all the tape, which subverts the seriousness of the message. Even so, a remnant of the image of evil lingers.