Right off the bat, I agree that Gavin Rain‘s work is reminiscent of the later work of Chuck Close, as so many facebook commenters have pointed out. But the comments are based on the images you see on the internet, not the real deal. In person the large paintings up close (no pun intended) are abstracted with lots of negative space and seemingly random circles, I squinted to see the portrait pop out, that sweet spot moment when an art object changes from one thing to another. Besides, Close painted hot dog shapes to create a similar effect, the target-like circles Gavin Rain paints are loaded with other contemporary pop art references, too.
Roy Lichtenstein’s Ben-Day dots, Jasper John’s target paintings, Andy Warhol’s polaroids, Yayoi Kusama polka dots, Damien Hirst’s dots, not to mention Georges-Pierre Seurat’s pointillism theories along with a healthy dose of Chuck Close. I love all of those artists, being reminded of all of them at one time in one artwork doesn’t bother me at all. Pop art is so much a part of my upbringing and my lifestyle, it’s really exciting to see artwork that still hits that rebellious hot spot in my artistic tastes. Gavin Rain‘s portrait’s are about personalities, internationally famous, iconic faces each packed with cultural and pop memes loaded with a generation’s worth of contemporary art history. It’s actually kind of cool that Gavin Rain’s art makes people think about art and stirs memories.
“I use both positive and negative space so that he Viewer’s mind will be able to fill the gaps within the scene. I want the viewer’s mind to be able to enter into the changing scenes. Our minds tend to fill in gaps automatically, and the negative space in my paintings created opportunities for this to happen. When these gaps are filled in, the viewers can be drawn into the scene not just as a detached observer but also as an active participant.” – E-Moderne Gallerie, Gavin Rain
E-Moderne Gallerie owner George Fong is really excited to be showing outstanding art by international artists in Philadelphia. George has great plans for upcoming shows including art, ceramics, photography and digital arts from South Africa, Germany, Asia, China, even a few Philly artists. Check out the E-Moderne website for upcoming events and on facebook.
Photo courtesy of E-Moderne Gallerie
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Written by DoN Brewer except where noted.
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