Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Another post not about a band or a label.

'RED', gloss, varnish and marker pens on canvas 40x50cm.

I'll be honest right now, and say the last few years worth of painting graduates from Brighton Uni have been pretty disappointing. Walking around the recent graduate shows i've noticed what can only be described as the proliferation of a house style that i can sum up rather simply, but accurately as semi-finished abstract expressionism or maybe ADD-stract expressionism. Room after room i was confronted with poorly executed, half finished canvases that look like they could have been done by one artist, not the forty or so that were actually exhibiting, and more often than not on large canvases that i suspect were a tactic employed to fool the viewer into thinking they were any good. They all looked like wall sections of a room in the middle of a indecisive diy makeover. Last year there were only two things that caught my eye (wanted to take home), one was a large glossy pink phallus-ish painting called 'Marge' by Katherine Mckenzie (i have a postcard of it on my wall), the other work i liked was Paul Griffiths' eerie portraits. This year it was the same, but there was only one name i bothered to jot down on the back of my hand - Sam Barrett. His work was a breath of fresh air, some humor and fun amongst the dreary slop of his classmates. I thought he must be a total outsider, and i wondered if his classmates thought he was mad or a simpleton even? Well obviously he's neither, he's obviously a totally rad dude. What other kind of person would paint dinosaurs skating on ramps made of slime, or flying, stoned bananas with boobs? Can i get a Dude Culture high five. Using varnishes, felt tip pens, lush coloured resins and oils the paintings become saturated to the point where you think you could almost dive in to mess around in the gloop. I confess, i did poke at a particularly rubbery looking bit of resin, i couldn't resist. Here's a few pics for you to enjoy, and you can check out more of his stuff HERE, but what you really need is to see the work in the flesh, so i hope he'll be exhibiting sometime soon.

'Superior Quality', oil, varnish and felt tip pens on calico 40x50cm

'Die Brucke', felt tip pens and resin on canvas 40x50cm

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