Canadiens Gothic

Acrylic, 2014

The original painting the started the People of Canada Portrait Project in 2014, inspired by 'American Gothic'. "American Gothic (1930) is a painting by American (Iowa) artist Grant Wood. The painting depicts a farmer and someone you may assume to be his wife standing in front of their house. The farmer is dressed simply and holding a pitch fork, the wife is dressed simply as well, adorned by an apron.
In reality, the people in this painting are not as they seem, they are models (artist’s sister and town dentist) that Wood selected to replicate what a typical person living in Iowa would look like. In American Gothic, Wood uses the house and its perspective owners as a satirical outlook on American culture at the time. Saturley’s Canadiens Gothic (from the People of Canada Portrait Project) has a similar setting to Wood’s American Gothic. Shown is a hockey player (Reg) in a Canadiens hockey jersey, holding a hockey stick. Beside him is, we assume, his wife (Penny) wearing a “Hoodie” or a “Bunny Hug” if you are from Saskatchewan. The figures are standing not in front of their home, but in front of a building titled FORUM, "the most storied building in hockey history" and home of the Montreal Canadiens hockey club. Unlike Wood’s American Gothic, the figures in Saturley’s Canadiens Gothic did pose together (selfie taken by Penny) and are a couple living in Manitoba. Replacing the pitch fork with a hockey stick, and replacing the simple but staunch black jacket with a hockey jersey, evokes a level of relaxation on one’s day off.This contrasts the work element (farming) with play (hockey); or, comparatively speaking, a way of life (farming) juxtaposed with the Canadian way of life (hockey). Penny’s attire also gives to the notion of comfort and does not attest to any domestic fortitude.