Oliver Jones has become renowned for his photorealistic chalk drawings, which consider how the media advertises, manipulates and exploits imagery of flesh.
For his most recent exhibition, Oliver created a large-scale multi-panel work, Divine, taking the studio of the tattoo artist as its subject. Emblematic of a religious alter-piece, the triptych refers to Laocoön and His Sons, an ancient marble sculpture in the Vatican regarded as an icon of human agony and suffering.
Similarly, #motherandchild is composed visibly as an icon or Florentine altarpiece and most identifiably Madonna and Child by Giovanni Battista Salvi.
The work draws upon the narrative surrounding the Mother and Child emotively engaging the audience with notions of motherliness, love and devotion whilst also depicting the distraction of the modern day mobile phone. As with Baroque and Renaissance painting of the time, the work encompasses traditions of chiaroscuro and drapery but in contrast, reflects their modern day equivalents being synthetically manufactured materials and artificial LCD lighting.
Finally, as a continuation of the Love the Skin You’re In series, Oliver takes a further look at the routines we have become accustomed to in order to maintain our physical exterior. It also examines the more drastic and unusual procedures regarding DIY beauty enhancement therapies and internet ‘ self-help’ cosmetics, some of which become rather abstract images when isolated in this way.
Exemplifying these rituals is an attempt to question some of the myths surrounding so-called perfection and the falsified visions of normality we are all too familiar with. Through this work, the artist also prompts many questions about the psychology of body modification and the role of extreme procedures in the attainment of physical perfection.
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