‘He held the detached tooth in front of his face. It was white and cracked, with roots dangling beneath, festering in gore… then he placed the tooth back into his mouth and rolled it around, before swallowing it whole.’
The Painter awakes naked and injured. Where are his clothes, what is his name, and, more importantly, why is the chair talking to him?
So begins The Painter’s disquieting journey into the heart of darkness at the centre of the contemporary art world.
After suffering a traumatic epiphany, The Painter turns his back on his former existence and becomes a living artwork. His life is his canvas, his materials bodily matters and fluids. His creations are the remnants of all he tastes, touches and feels.
But how will those who feed off his talent feel about this change?
As the corpses mount up, their tableaux ever more macabre, the finger begins to point inexorably in The Painter’s direction. Pitted against amoral art collectors, corrupt critics and homicidal gangsters, his sole ally is a beautiful young gallerist, who has her own demons to wrestle.
The Painter is Raymond Chandler meets Francis Bacon in purgatory.