Quentin Mackay, MD of Quentin MacKay:
Dr Cecilia d'Felice's psychological interpretation:
Quentin Mackay’s portrait plays on ambiguity and intrigue. His beautiful wife, Vija, naked and hidden, adjusts his tie as he stands - seemingly arrogantly - before us.
Are we being asked to envy him? Is he telling us that his success is all about money and power, denoted by his suave black tie and his glamorous ‘assistant’? Or is he asking us to look beyond the obvious interpretation of this arresting portrait and ask more difficult questions about our experience.
His eyes are shaded. Hidden from our view, we wonder what does he not wish to reveal to us? His hands in pocket, relaxed, effortless, not poised for action, are nonchalant. Without them deflecting attack, he is open to our projections, there is nothing to defend him other than his presence, which is commanding.
Quentin’s achievement is in making us think in response to being challenged. We are offered a fantasy portrait of a man at the height of his powers: physical, intellectual and sexual. He has worked for this position and he is not ashamed to let us know it. He is uncompromising, driven, seductive and - are we to suppose - not a little ruthless? Yet he is loving too, as there his wife is, he has not chosen to be photographed alone. Her presence suggests a very human vulnerability: to be in relation to another. Yes, she is part of the James Bond image, but she is also taking care of him and he shields her from our prying eyes, protecting her from us.
His mouth is turned down, yet there is a hint of a smile. Is he laughing at us, or with us? We cannot be sure. What we do know is that we are being provoked and in provocation, ideas are born.