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Banting’s work frequently included figures whose heads were derived from the shapes of animal skulls, seashells or pieces of wood. This is closely related to the Surrealists’ twin fascinations with objets trouvé(found objects) and the juxtaposition of disconnected elements. Perhaps there is also an element of social satire in the suggestion of the polite conversation of the social elite. The technique also shows a disregard of artistic convention, as the background appears to have been produced with the palm of the hand.

August 2004