The 21st Century Minotaur


The birth of Asterion was marked by otherness, he was a lonely oddity within a world of oddities. He was born to an immortal mother, Pasiphae, wife of King Minos of Crete, who not only betrayed her but the god Poseidon. Because he refused to sacrifice a bull, the most beautiful bull that ever was, Poseidon punished Minos through Pasiphae. He replaced her love for the king with a deep longing for the beautiful bull. Thus, the Minotaur, Asterion, the Starry One, was born. The ultimate other.
Centuries later, waking from the sleep that had appeared as death to Theseus, the Minotaur stepped forth from the Labyrinth into the 21st Century. A new world of decadence and celebrity was upon him. It is however, also a world in which “the other“ can be fêted, and gene splicing finally solved the everlasting loneliness of the Minotaur’s condition.
The Minotaur embodies outsider qualities. In Kirkham’s paintings he is neither bovine, divine or quite human. Unsure of his sexuality, loving the fripperies of fashion, experimenting with his gender, his breed and his “otherness”. In the dreamland of the paintings he finds the other world, “the other” in all of us and the secret part of the psyche hidden away.

All images are 4 x 6 inches, watercolour & Indian ink on paper unless otherwise stated. Charlie Kirkham 2012.

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