The Blind Leading the Blind
In the exhibition the Blind Leading the Blind Howson stays true to his identifiable and signature style. He focuses his attention towards real life urban scenes. They contain an essential element of realism, but are edged with a deep disturbing and unsettling quality.
The artist creates unease in his images through the distortion of his figures and the dark haunting surroundings in which he places these characters. The emotionally dramatic, ever gritty images force the viewer to look at issues of social class divides, unsettlement and violent culture.
In images such as Patriots Howson faces these issues and realities head on. He unashamedly portrays three burley muscular thugs complete with viscous snarling dogs, broken bottles and football scarves. They are excited, on the lookout for an evening’s entertainment; the violence here is not happening, but suggested in what may develop beyond the image. Howson painted ten main images entitled the Blind Leading the Blind, which were created with the aid of over one hundred detailed preparatory images, some of which were also displayed during this exhibition.