The Mechanical Paradise

Old Master Inspired Fantasy Oil Paintings | 2020 - 2021
The Mechanical Paradise oil paintings by Paul Kingsley Squire
Conceived as a reflection to the significance to the times we are living in “The Mechanical Paradise” is a series of oil paintings that symbolically combine ancient myths with the ongoing integration of AI (artificial intelligence) into contemporary life.

These works use methods that require an underpainting and transparent glazes of oil paint. I use a mix of raw and burnt umber with titanium white for the under painting and then various transparent and semi transparent oil colours, mixed with a medium to create the coloured glazes.

This series was started in the March 2020 London Lockdown at the beginning of the COVID 19 pandemic and continued throughout the year. I felt an urgency to get these works down on canvas as I felt at that time that we were dealing not only with the virus but also rapid technological advances in the digital lifestyle that had become ubiquitous in our day to day existence.

While researching for this project I came across several sources that referenced how the ancients imagined robots and other forms of artificial life and even invented real automated machines. A particularly good source of material was in the book “Gods and Robots: Myths, Machines, and Ancient Dreams of Technology” by Adrienne Mayor. In the book Adrienne relays how the ancient Greek myths contained many stories of automata, imagining robotic servants, animated statues, and ancient versions of Artificial Intelligence.

The oil paintings in “The Mechanical Paradise” are therefore named after several Greek gods and mythical characters.