The James Gleeson oral history collection
James Gleeson interviews Australia's major artists
The happy boy 1966
56.8 x 38.6 cm
Gordon Darling Australasian Print Fund 1996
5 October & 29 November 1978 [unknown location]
James Gleeson: The Happy boy is, if I am not mistaken, related to a whole sequence of paintings that had to do with looking through windows at objects inside, and reflections in the glass, as well.
John Brack: Yes, that is right. There are two motives there. One is that when you look at a painting which is covered with glass, or at a shop window, you see a reflection of yourself first. It seems to me that other people do not ever see the reflection of themselves because they focus inside, whereas I could always see my reflection. The other motive was that these shops, which sold chairs for invalids and that sort of thing, hardly ever had any customers. Inside were the proprietor and a lady assistant, who seemed to be swimming in the middle of the water; they seemed to be almost disembodied. There was a sort of peculiar relationship between them and me, looking in. That intrigued me.