Image: Jiro Osuga's Decameron series

Jiro Osuga's Decameron series featured in The Jackdaw

"During the recent lockdown Laura Gascoigne invited me to take part in Revisiting The Decameron, an online exhibition she was curating about contemporary artists' responses to Boccaccio's classic. I was not without misgivings. The Decameron comprises a hundred stories told by ten fictitious Florentines while self-isolating during the Black Death of 1348. My difficulty was that many of these stories are extremely bawdy. Although I've never been averse to humour in my work, I have tended to shy away from anything too earthy. But my fears proved unfounded. Not only did I find that I rather enjoyed painting about illicit trysts and naked lovers surreptitiously leaping out from bedroom windows but the stories generated an endless stream of ideas, so that I ended up producing over thirty paintings during a two-month period. Given a few more months I could easily have produced seventy more paintings to match the hundred tales." - Jiro Osuga

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