Death of Lily the Werewolf is a poignant image, asserting the ‘judicious righteousness’ of allied forces in Italy, at a late stage during the Second World War. In 1979 I found a discarded magazine in Wardour Street, Epoca, published during March 1965. The magazine contains some stark black and white photo reportage covering the final days of fascist rule in Italy and Germany. One particular centrefold, shows a firing squad composed of American servicemen, dispatching a member of the fascist resistance (sometimes referred to as Werewolves). I kept the publication, knowing it would be useful to work from. Death is something we all have to reckon with and by using found material, I have been able to confront the idea and meditate on the theme.
Using canvas from a previous project (Going Large for Thames TV), I transposed the image, drawing by means of a grid. At first I thought I would carefully reiterate visual properties in the photo – but what would be the point? After considering the function of the task, I knew it would be futile to do that. I opened numerous containers of paint and (working to music), assaulted the surface in a demented, fervid way – flicking the V’s at Tod. My facetious attitude borne out by aggressive brush-work and angry, irrational use of colour. ‘All the best Art is about Death and Sex’ – said Jonathan Jones of the Guardian. Perhaps it is.