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We Are The Mods by Alberto Martinez
Limited Edition Print of 49
Medium: Giclee On Canvas
Image Size: 27" x 40"
Framed Size 36" x 49"
This playful painting provides us with an alternative take on Mod culture as seen through the ever imaginative eyes of Alberto Martinez, who is himself a Brighton resident.
There are obvious references to the film Quadrophenia throughout the piece, for example a record by The Who on the turntable, the presence of Brighton Pier in the background (the movie was filmed in Brighton), and the number plate on the Lambretta scooter which is the same as that in the movie.
The dome on the pier is humorously made from a rocker’s helmet that references the Mod/Rocker clashes that took place, whilst the boot you can see just to the right of the snail replacing a scooter wheel is very similar in style to that you would have seen a Mod wearing. What is unusual however, is the presence of birds in the painting, rather than the Mods themselves!
Alberto attributes this to a number of similarities he saw between the two. For example, he envisaged bird song as a metaphor for the importance of music in Mod culture and a means by which to express yourself and communicate. He also saw the bird’s colourful plumage as a reflection of the type of fashion and colour palette you might expect to see a Mod wearing.
The fact that we also see different species of bird is equally indicative of the individuality and expressive nature of Mod culture. In true Mod style, the green scooter (next to the replica Lambretta from Quadrophenia) has been personalised by Alberto. He has referenced his Cuban heritage with the Cuban flag on the wheel hub, ladybird (which is common in his country), and a few other humorous additions such as the retro phone hand set and shower head. He’s also replaced wheels with snails making light of the fact that scooters are actually quite slow!
Finally, in the foreground we can see a peacock’s reflection in a puddle. This is a jovial reference to the Greek mythological character of Narcissus, who fell in love with his own reflection prior to meeting a rather unfortunate end! Alberto is providing us with a jolly reminder of the importance of physical appearance in popular culture...in his own unique way!