Parafin Gallery, London is currently displaying the latest works by British painter Justin Mortimer. The artist’s painting reflects upon a figurative world in a state of 21st century ‘Baconian’ disorder, often pushing the boundaries of figuration and landscape with a slight fetishistic overtone. But with this latest series of works the artist’s usual necrotic hues give way to the artificial colours of medical garments and smoke bombs found in images from the ongoing Ebola crisis in Africa, and recent political disturbances.
Mortimer creates a voyeuristic tableaux from a collage of internet-sourced images, often returning to motifs and re-working them as he strips back the images to reveal a disturbing narrative of suggested violence and physical oppression – but also one of beauty. The artist’s usual focus on the ‘victim’ in the obfuscated narrative of his work is no longer the central leitmotif of the Mortimer’s painting. The artist’s broken and distrubing nudes of Mortimer’s amoral Goya-esque performances are reduced, as is the artist’s fetishistic tone
The viewer is still met with a shifted focus and a subversion of intent, there is still the nature of unease, as if the viewer is being unwittingly drawn into some sort of sordid event, the centre of which is blocked or even in the case redacted via the intentional removal of a key to the narrative.
In the second part of his conversation with Artlyst Justin Mortimer discusses the ongoing narrative of his painting, and the direction the artist may take his work in the future.
Justin Mortimer: Kult – Parafin Gallery – until 27 June 2015
Words: Justin Mortimer with Paul Black. Photos: courtesy of Parafin Gallery © and P A Black, 2015 Artlyst all rights reserved
Read part one here