Josh Simpson: There is no Other - Art Collector

Josh Simpson, Ways of Seeing, 2015. Oil on canvas, 40 x 30cm. Courtesy: the artist and Colville Gallery, Hobart

In his latest work Josh Simpson uses a central motif of masking as a veil between enhancing reality and actuality. Through a variety of paint handling he positions the painted surface as a façade; a threshold between self and other. This application creates a fractured collage effect where abstract forms obscure figurative space and pockets of landscape tease the viewer with visual tropes and clichés. The work parallels social media where identities are edited, airbrushed and assembled. Simpson reveals a surreal interpretation of this confluence between self and other that can never be truly unmasked.

In the work, forms are hard edged, gesturally rendered and abruptly layered. Youthful figures are cropped, dislocated and objectified. On the surface colours are shifting and glowing. The altered hue and saturation of the everyday appears otherworldly. The influence of technology on identity reconstruction is echoed in the works’ digital aesthetic and ruptured surface. The contradictory nature of this threshold throws up a purgatory, utopia or refuge – a place where authentic and inauthentic, self and otherness collide.

Exhibition opens: 5.30-7.30pm Friday 8 April 2016
Exhibition closes: 27 April 2016
Location: Colville Gallery, 91 Salamanca Place Hobart TAS 7004
Contact: 03 6224 4088

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