Sobre las Olas 1919

The waltz “Sobre las Olas” or “Over the Waves” is the best-known work of Mexican composer Juventino Rosas (1868–1894) -The painting ‘Sobre las Olas 1919’ was inspired by Mark Gertler’s painting ‘Merry-go-round’ (1915) Gertler’s picture is brilliantly grotesque; soldiers and civilians swirling round and around in what some see as illustrative of the social madness created by The Great War. My painting depicts three strongmen, or could they be acrobats? One has a prosthetic ear, one has lost an eye, the third has small calibre bullet wounds in his arm. All have terrible scars, their expressions reveal that the worst of these are private. After the nightmare of the trenches they are back in the ‘Fun Fair’.

Private collection