Saturday, 24 March 2012

New Images for Exhibition: Stages of Civilisation

These are 4 new images that I have done specially for the exhibition of my still work (at PrimeFocus 37 Dean Street). Its based on a theory about the broad building blocks of epic film construction. Like the rise and fall of a civillisation like Ancient Rome you go from the "wasteland" through the "village" to the "classical city"  then to the "decadent city" which then circles back to the "wasteland".  This works when you think of  gangster films where there is the mutation from "classical city" into "decadent city", with westerns there is the tension between "village" and the "wasteland" and with post apocalyptic sci-fi where the "decadent city" degrades into the "wasteland". As I wanted to do epic imagery I thought these stages would be a good structure. 
I am inspired by expressionism and the romantic sublime in the landscape art of Gericault, Delacroix, "Mad" John Martin, Anselm Kiefer and the Hudson river School. This is combined with a widescreen cinematic look that is the contemporary mass market incarnation of these impulses. 
There is also the influence of the primal gestures of Abstract Expressionism in artists like Arnulf Rainer, Pollock and De Kooning and Franz Kline. The violence and immediacy of these marks are echoed in the electric fragmentation and subversion of the images surface. To prevent the images from becoming too purely representational the final cataclysmic shattering gives them an intense expressionistic immediacy
Expressionist painting fuses with Blockbuster cinema.