Wednesday, 10 February 2010

The Devil's in the Details - BON INT No.11

Extract - Come closer-Don’t be shy, closer still  or you’ll miss it! Bon’s new Arts Editor, Freire Barnes introduces seven up and coming artists whose work should come with a magnifying glass this year. Art is all about deception and details.

You could be forgiven for misreading the artworks over the next few pages. They might look at home in the pages of a botanical review, a hardware store catalogue, even a science journal. But what you are actually seeing are the works of seven up ‘n’ coming international artists who deal in the clever art of deception through great attention to detail.

Curiously, adopting labour-intensive techniques is how they like to wile away their days. Unlike the factory production of artwork in many contemporary artists’ studios, they wish to put their touch on the work, and be involved at every level from inception to realisation.

These fascinating illusionists cunningly trick us into a false sense of security with their consideration to the minutest detail. Only on closer inspection do you begin to realise they have subverted everyday objects and images to make the insignificant, significant. From embroidery thread to cardboard, from mud and straw to pornographic magazines, these artists go against the grain by creating masterpieces of prodigious proportions to challenge our eye. 

Tom Gallant – The Cheeky Chappy
Beautiful ornate birds and fantastically elaborate foliage adorn Tom Gallant’s creations. Born in England but now residing in Belgium, he masterfully cuts out flora and fauna patterns from magazine pages using the ancient Japanese art of Kirigami. However it is the reading matter normally found on the newsstand top shelf or hiding under an adolescent boy’s bed that is used in his creations, yes you guessed it, Porn! Pardon, what? Yes you read correctly, porn magazines.

Susan Collis – The Master Replicator 
Finding the hidden beauty in the most banal objects is what Susan Collis does best. Suddenly the modest stepladder, nonchalant workman’s overalls or humble table is propelled into the spotlight. The 2005 Mostyn Open winner creates stunning trompe l’oeil effects of human interactions and general ware and tear so you will never look at your office chair or laundry bag in the same light. 

Andy Parker – The Great Copycat 
Working freely between screen-print, sculpture, film, photography and even ceramics, Andy Parker endeavours to bring the broken, rejected and overlooked into the foreground. His interest in the utility of daily life objects results in remarkably delicate work crafted from cardboard to clay with such precision as to imitate the idea of the original. 

Kim Rugg – Hold the Front Page
You couldn’t go to your local newsstand and ask for a copy of AACEFIIILMNNST, if you did you would probably get a perplexed looking vendor. You’d be lucky to pronounce eeeihkmNorsTTwY let alone even read the front pages of the AeeegiLlmnosssT as they have been reduced to pure gobbledygook. All you can be is in awe of Kim Rugg’s reworking of written journalism.

Richard GalpinPoleis Planner
Skiving off lessons to work with a wood carver at the age of 15 could be said to have been the making of Richard Galpin yet these days he is more likely to be found in front of a photograph than a chunk of Italian Walnut. He works long hours, even weeks on his pieces, scoring off the surface of photographs to reveal remoulded busy cities into organic landscapes. 

Darina Karpov – Wistful illusionist
Anything that catches Darina Karpov’s eye is incorporated within her work. The Russian Yale graduate collages random findings from the Internet, magazine cuttings, and advertisements with invented details and events from her life and memory, “Usually I develop my drawing from a localized area, spreading out in all directions and layering the density, opening up and articulating spaces. Gliding over sheets of paper, you are immersed into her elaborately detailed panorama of familiar components. 

Alastair MackieThe King of Subversion
Mouse skeletons are used to build cages; straw and mud transform themselves into a model of Washington Hill; broken eggshells become the head of a 1950’s doll; matchsticks delicately adapt into miniature trees and war model planes are assembled to form a Stetson cowboy hat. The British artist Alastair Mackie subverts childlike paraphernalia, into symbols of political and social comment. 

Images by Tom Gallant and Alastair Mackie