Martin Ridgwell

martin-ridgwellMartin Ridgwell – 4 of Diamonds

I liked the concept of The Deck of Cards collaboration, and the charity itself does incredibly important work so I was glad to sign up. However, the main reason why I came on board is because it was Baroness Floella Benjamin asking me if I would like to consider taking part, so what choice did I have ? I mean this Floella Benjamin we’re talking about ! If she asks you to do something – you do it.

As soon as I read the brief, I immediately knew that I wanted the Three of Diamonds for my card, as in my head I had already conjured up the image of three young guys lounging in a rather louche way on a bed, playing with trinkets from an old jewellery box.

Much to my vexation, someone else had got there before me and had already swiped it for themselves, so i quickly snatched the Four of Diamonds before anyone else could get to it – but wondering all the time how on earth I was now going to fit four stripling lads onto a piece of paper the size of a playing card ? Turns out all I had to do was ask them to all budge up on the bed a little bit and there was room everyone. Looking back at my original thumb nail sketch I’m surprised to see just how close it is to the finished art work, the image and composition must have been very clear in my head at the time.

Where the actual idea for the image came from is not so clear, but I liked the incongruity of these four rather unwholesome characters lying on satin sheets and draping themselves in jewellery.

I’ve been meaning to play with this theme since I last watched the movie sweet Charity, where the film’s heroine ( an employee at a dance hall where clients pay to spend time with her ), encounters a famous film star who takes her back to his glamorous apartment. She cant believe her luck, and wishes her little gang of co-workers could see her now in the lap of luxury.

So I guess that’s basically where the germ of the idea came from for my drawing, just wanting to see how my ruffians would fare in a more glamorous setting. Obviously they’re taking to it very well and that in turn led to the title of the piece, what else but Diamond Geezers.

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