Two hundred and sixty eight


2011 by Joshua J Law

Law states that what currently concerns him is the voyeurism of watching people in their everyday lives, without them being aware of his presence. There are definitely layers that aim to divide in Law’s work – screens built up in medium that aim to separate the viewer from the viewed. This abstraction of subject is taken further in some of his paintings than others, where figure becomes shape; losing detail, subjects become outline to work upon, for colour to cling to, representative of the repetitive action these figures have come to represent. Here, however, the detail of person is kept, frozen almost, while the surface of the situation is blurred and built upon. Playing and elaborating on the framing of viewpoint, Law layers the atmosphere as if it were glass – scratching and mottling the surface to blur and taint with smears of bright red. Colour grades our vision but does not leak into the subject behind, Law makes sure of a clear separation; he is creating a screen to look through. Bloodily obscured, suited commuters wait faceless on the right while the blind elderly woman is piercingly highlighted; glowing, she tentatively feels her way out of the door. The contrast is clear and, though Law may not want his presence acknowledged, his depictions seem to project judgement or at least evaluations on a situation. The texture achieved in his paintings only encourages this; refusing to settle or melt into the picture the surfaces of his paintings are thick with activity, corroding of the clarity of un-obscured vision.


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