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Diptych 05: Max & Leo – “Rename Us as Strangers”

“Rename Us as Strangers”

2018 mixed media on canvas

200 x 90 cm - Panel

200 x 180 cm - Diptych

by Angel Correa


Technique and materials used


Mixed media on canvas (colour printed cotton fabric): Acrylics, vinyl paints, medium, gesso, charcoal powder, water-based inks, permanent-ink markers, and matte varnish


Detailed description of the work

I have immensely enjoyed giving life to ‘Max & Leo’ by means of this diptych.  It was a sustained and intense adventure to keep the vibrant pattern of the fabric bright, in the midst of the calming but somehow ‘cold’ blue silhouettes.


These two male figures represent the gay men I have seen many times in the street, in Brixton, South London where I live and work full-time as an artist; to my mind, they are a pitch-perfect reflection of the excitement of scouring the ethnic markets for my fabrics – where the African shops are full of brash and exotic patterns and colours.  I used an array of large and small rounded brushes to bring these men to life.  


‘Max & Leo’ are particularly special to me because it was whilst drawing them that I understood how art can influence society by reinforcing or changing opinions, instilling values, and translating experiences using a visual narrative. The realisation came to me that I’m here to give a clearer voice to vulnerable minority groups using my art, and to make my paintings a repository of a society’s collective memory.


To me, now a man who is married to another man because we love each other, it doesn’t mean that all minority groups are as lucky as others. I wanted to create a bold result; one which was emotionally attractive, but full of meaning which might invite others to decide: Let’s get over ourselves and bring light into this darkness. I believe that this is thus an ideal piece of defiant art for the stout-hearted owner.

“I will love you until the stars go out, and the tides no longer turn”Anon

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