I fell in love with Correggio’s Jupiter and Io many years ago and this oil on canvas (100 cm x 50 cm) is in homage to it. The scene comes from Roman mythology, with the god Jupiter disguising himself as a mist and sweeping in to seduce the nymph, Io.
I wanted this piece to blend the classic with the modern style, just as it blends the solidity of the flesh with the nebulous spirit of the god. In the act of love, heaven and earth, and soul and body, join together to become one paradise.
Although Io’s legs are tense with arousal, the top half of her body is passive, relaxed and gentle as she gives herself freely to the god’s tender seduction. Or perhaps she is caught in his dreamlike enchantment, half-sleeping, half-awake. The erotic scene takes place in the natural world, with roots winding and twisting in echo of the bodies entwined.
The god himself is in awe of Io’s beauty, his lips parted, about to kiss her flesh for the first time. His amorphous form seems to become more solid as it comes into contact with her, just as the love of a woman can finally give substance to a man’s transient heart.