Artist’s Statement

 

The core theme of my work is the exploration of painting in the 21st century, with a particular focus on portraiture. My aim is to create a dialogue around the need for painting to reposition itself in an image-saturated digital age, which cannot be approached without an implicit awareness of the rich history and tradition of the genre.

I have taken inspiration from the theories and works of the painter Merlin James, who argues for ‘medium-specificity’ in painting, believing that painting has its own culture, reality, history, traditions and genres. Painting is such a complex medium that I feel the need to fully understand it in order to be able to create a dialogue about it.

I explore questions such as ‘What constitutes a contemporary portrait?’, ‘What can a painting say about someone beyond the ubiquitous selfie?’, ‘Is there still a need for the painted portrait?’ and ‘What is the relationship between the artwork and its audience?’ As a painter, I am concerned and engaged with the craft and language of painting – both the object that is painted and the language that comprises painting. My work is concerned with the way a painting looks, communicates and especially circulates, given the ability of a painting to be present and dispersed at the same time – existing in the dual realities of the ‘physical’ and the ‘digital’.

My work expresses the contradictions of painting in the digital age: it is a physical entity that must reckon with a digital world. To this end, I appropriate subject matter from the internet and present it in an ‘analogue’ form, in a liberated and interesting way, creating new meaning from mundane imagery which exists uniquely online. Through the physical language of painting, I re-contextualise these found images, subverting them by fracturing the forms and reconfiguring them in a painterly style which pushes the line of abstract and figuration in a way that evokes the hybrid space that is at the junction between the real and the virtual.

Education

2015 -2016

MA Fine Art, Chelsea, London.

2008 -2010

Diploma in Portrait Painting, Heatherley School of Fine Art, Chelsea, London.

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