I’ve been enamoured by the work of James Bonnici for quite a while now, his beautifully rendered and contorted blurs of portraiture especially – and this Friday night he’ll be putting on a solo show at Dark Horse Gallery in the Melbourne CBD.
"Through portraiture and landscape, my work explores how distortion, blurriness, light and space may be used to depict psychological states, perceptions and how we experience our physical reality. Painting and drawing from photographs taken with my phone camera allows me to interpret my immediate surroundings and subjects that are close to me.
The portraits of heads in motion capture a number of moments not ordinarily perceptible. They give us a glimpse of the in-between and what lies beneath the surface. Distortion is created through the representation of subjects in motion, hinting at the subjects’ psychological state. Painting the motion blur materializes the distortion created by the camera, transforming the movement into fleshy, sculptural vessels of contortion, while the darker tones of the drawings seek to heighten the underlying anguish. These approaches draw on the disturbing, grotesque elements of the initial subject in order to accentuate the obscure within the psyche.
Contrasting with the moving heads are the representations of static environments that we occupy and move through everyday: backyards with high fences, bleak buildings and fluorescent interiors. By using awkward angles and rendering these environments with a minimal palette (as if through a filter), there is the attempt to heighten the unsettling and claustrophobic atmosphere of these spaces. While these confined spaces may be perceived as oppressive, the final imagery of each piece aims to display a hidden beauty within: one that shows stillness, silence and a contemplative nature."
With so much going on this weekend, this is definitely a show to go and see – if you want to catch one of the rising stars of the Melbourne fine art world, and just see some amazing art – head down and check it out.
Who: James Bonnici
What: In-Between Spaces solo show
Where: Dark Horse Experiment, 110 Franklin St, Melbourne
When: Show opens Friday 13th September 2013 from 6pm til 9pm and runs until 12th October