My paintings take as their starting point the iconography of advertising and my work is currently an attempt to explore my relationship to the somewhat idealised and generally sexualised version of reality I am so often encouraged to buy into. Slick, sensual and at times overtly erotic, this staple diet of glossy images is an ever-present invitation to consume a fantasy and along with its inherent promise of gratification, has proved to be an irresistible trigger to my own imagination.
It is my hope that this cultural obsession with seduction finds an echo in my own work. Through the employment of photorealist elements, high-key colour and decorative detail, I aim to seduce the viewer and retain their gaze, an initially superficial engagement that I hope gives way to an invitation to explore a more complex narrative that lies underneath.
My painting is based on contrast and contradiction. Appropriating images from a wide range of sources I take pleasure in lifting figures from their original context and placing them in a new pictorial environment in an effort to employ them in an alternative narrative. The visual language I have developed I hope also reinforces this idea of contradiction, with black and white images being thrown up against intense colour, figurative forms reacting against abstract elements and decorative detail finding its counterpoint in flat planes of colour.
My source material constantly returns me to the belief in the absurdity of a consumerist society and the value it places in illusion. My work is on the one hand an attempt to highlight this folly and stems from a rejection of the aspirationalist values necessary to sustain it. Images of dissatisfaction, frustration and perhaps at times aggression are in a way an attempt to offer an antidote. And yet? The continual success and renewal of the lifestyle promise that people seem ever eager to consume is such that my gesture runs the risk of proving ultimately futile and my work rendered impotent. The uncomfortable truth of which I am made aware is that to proclaim a viewpoint outside of the mainstream and to allocate myself the role of cultural conscience would in itself be a contradiction. I too am a consumer and my work in a certain context can be seen simply as another material commodity.
My work is confessional.