Fred Page is regarded as South Africa’s foremost Surrealist. He died in 1984 at the age of 76 having produced a body of work remarkable for its unique personal imagery. He represents a rare example in the 20th century of a painter who portrays with some accuracy the particular architectural features of the city in which he lived. Reclusive by choice, Port Elizabeth formed the backdrop for his extraordinary fertile visual imagination between 1947 and 1980.
Page appears to have been obsessed with cataloguing the dynamics of the relationships between men women and with the salacious aspects of adult human behavior. Untitled is a large and powerful painting and here he returns to imply sexual commerce or a covert meeting between a seemingly emasculated male and female protagonists, typically portrayed in an unflattering manner. In the dark of night, the suave looking man is rendered impotent in the once impressive vehicle now without an engine, with a broken grill and no wheels.
Jeanne Wright and Cecil Kerbel (eds.) (2011) Fred Page: Ringmaster of the Imagination, Publishers Jeanne Wright and Cecil Kerbel: Port Elizabeth. Illustrated in colour on page 111.