‘Valentina‘ like ‘Arizona’both recently sold and both arose out of my waiting for my ‘Le Beau Mirage’ seriesof oil paintings to dry. Valentina is one of the magical creatures from an imaginary desert of beautiful figures and mirages that come into being. Inspired by my love for the oh so beautiful and magical and otherworldly photographs by Sally Mann. Especially the black and white photos of her children that really etched an impression with me. I had also been fascinated by Richard Prince’scontroversial rephotographing images of Brooke Shields by Gary Gross which really did and still do, in my opinion tread a fine line of what is and isn’t acceptable. Even the Tate gallery permanently removed the image. However the images I found intriguing but also deeply confronting.