I am a figurative painter working primarily in oil, but my practice also encompasses drawing and collage. My work is inspired by the multi-layered aspects of today’s visual culture, with the common tendency of art and design to reference, self-reference and sample, I’m interested in the question of how this can affect a perceived sense of time.
I work with imagery and ideas that have come to us second hand, often mediated through culture and carrying with them associations or meanings. Fragments from diverse origins, such as western figurative painting, early photographic portraits and classical mythology to fashion magazines, contemporary design and Instagram are carefully combined to create a fictitious and subtly displaced sense of place and time. In creating a space in this way I hope to portray a kind of non-time in which the viewer is free to register and digest elements both familiar and distant to their sphere of reference, transporting them on a kind of temporal journey.
My working process begins with the making of a collage, in which elements from these multiple origins are carefully combined. This compositional stage is key to the finished piece, despite remaining unseen. The collage is then translated into a cohesive fully rendered oil painting, uniting the elements and masking the original medium of each fragment. A high level of detail and multiple delicate layers of oil paint aim to imbue the scene with a glass-like stillness and confuse the origin of each element further.
Thematically my paintings ruminate around ideas of beauty, love, desire, idealization and possession, elements which are close to the heart and origins of art as well as the human condition. Today, these themes continue to be a driving force behind many of the images we encounter on a daily basis through fashion, advertising and design, strengthened by the contemporary obsession for visual perfection. It is my hope that by incorporating these themes as well as the numerous carefully chosen figurative elements that I can create a fictional space which borders on a beguiling reality.