Munro Galloway

Bed Paintings, 2020–21

In the early days of the pandemic, I began making life drawings after a long period of focusing on abstraction. Because of quarantine and social distancing, the subjects of my drawings were limited to my immediate surroundings—my house and family. For me, the pandemic has intensified feelings of proximity and distance: close proximity to those I live with, and increased distance from both friends and strangers.

When I begin making paintings, I look for a form or structure to work within, around, and against. After working on these paintings and drawings for several months I came to the realization that the constrictive structure that contains the figures could represent a room, a closet, or a bed. This form also could be viewed vertically or horizontally. In other words, you could be looking straight at it or across it—like a bed.

A bed is a hard structure (the bedframe) that supports a soft covering (the mattress or sheets). In this sense, a bed is also analogous to a painting, which has a firm structure (the stretcher) and a pliable surface (the canvas). The figures in the bed are loosely based on the life drawings, but they take on a life and character of their own.