Lives & works in Sydney, Australia
"Take an object. Do something to it. Do something else to it.” Jasper Johns.
The numbers in this collection, the numerals, are beautiful quotidian symbols; marks which have meaning, value and energy both familiar and arcane. Numbers are static yet when placed together they move through calculations, the sum of which is literally greater than the parts. Individually and within these equations numbers surround us, shaping our world in both seen and unseen ways – birth, death, order, chaos, phone number, shoe size, Pin. Numbers are the language of theoretical thought, of our material world and our perceived world. They record, define and predict.
The repeated patterns found here have a nostalgic regard for mechanization and the birth of the multiple original of Warhol’s screen-prints and soap boxes. As does the confident colour treatment and the fact they accumulate something like multiple editions in the persistent ‘5x7’ format. The artist as factory. It speaks to the commercialization (and some may say, democratization) of art. However, each of the 5x7 inch panels in this collection is an individual painting, carefully crafted with a confident, innovative palette of techniques that can conceal the artist's hand in bold, fundamental processes or caress the surface in layers of hand-painted colour and texture.
The numerals are represented here in their familiar Hindu-Arabic form - 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 - the most common system for the symbolic representation of numbers in the world today. They are, by everyday standards, large, strong, beautiful and potently alive with humour, joy, force and meaning. When brought together (in numbers) the group paintings give a nod to the randomness and diversity of life but also the connectedness. The repeated and mixed numerals are individuals of a common species coexisting dynamically, harmoniously and to some extent coincidentally in a shared space, excited by their very diversity. Their loose experimental abstract qualities are cleverly corralled by the familiar symbolism and repeated 5x7 formatting. The viewer is left to ponder their own fascination – is it a puzzle, an equation, an answer of deep meaning and significance? Or a random selection, a lottery of sorts? Is it the painterly surface that draws us in to look deeper or are we instinctively trying to read the clues and solve the puzzle? In the end, they are compelling.
“Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” Andy Warhol .