face to face

"Face to face in a revolving door", 2021, Oil on Canvas, 70cm x 80cm







Marked Paintings

This series of works of "marked paintings" start out with a representational underpainting which is then overlaid with a variety of marks made with spray paint, marker pen, oil crayon and various other materials.   The underpainting typically depicts a luxurious interior space or figuration that denotes status and authority.   The over-layer is formed of gestural marks which are freely scribbled, calligraphic and graffiti like; this layer has a spontaneity that challenges the coherence and perfection of the underlying imagery.   The resulting works sit somewhere between a painting that has been used as a blackboard and a screensaver backdrop to a computer screen.

The juxtaposition of these different formal elements operates in a number of ways.    It captures the process of creation/destruction that is inherent to the practice of painting.   It challenges our perception of hierarchy implicit in certain images and forms of representation.    It embodies the coexistence of meticulous labour and free expression, characteristics of artworks made by hand.

The substance of the works sits on the surface of the painting, flat on the picture plane.   There is limited perspectival space and imagery is cropped close in.   A sense of illusionistic depth is achieved, nevertheless, from the interplay of the contrasting layers; a contemporary visual phenomenon more typical of screen-based media.  These paintings though clearly exist within the physical realm; tangible paintwork and surface marks are evident, ultra-smooth blending contrasts with sections of applied impasto.