Jose Carlos Naranjo's painting feaured in Contemporary Visions V
13 feb 2015 by art:i:curate team
art:i:curate artist Jose Carlos Naranjo's figurative painting is featured in the exhibition 'Contemporary Visions V' at Beers Contemporary Art in London.
'Contemporary Visions V' is Beers Contemporary's fifth annual open-call group exhibition. In addition to art:i:curate's own Jose Carlos Naranjo, featured artists included Luke Armitstead, Peter Baader, Austin Ballard, Jonny Green, Max Olofsson, Felicity Hammond, Oliver Hickmet, and Alan Sastre.
This year, nearly 2,000 applicants were adjudicated by Amanda Coulson (Artistic Director of VOLTA New York/Basel); Paul Carter-Robinson (Editor Artlyst); Kurt Beers (Director of Beers Contemporary, Author of 100 Painters of Tomorrow); as well as previous exhibitor, artist Phil Woodward.
Jose Carlos Naranjo.
Since its inception, the 'Contemporary Visions' group exhibition has sought to identify current trends in contemporary art through the discovery of exciting emerging artists working across all artistic disciplines. The fifth instalment presents nine international artists who stretch the limits of their practice to create works that are playfully abstract, invariably bright, with a distinctive, almost acerbic energy. Together, they create a vision of contemporary art that is both unique and referential, quoting from an art historical language and disciplines to reinterpret and reinvent their chosen media.
Jonny Green performs a similar ruse: first composing small maquettes, the artist then painstakingly repaints these still-lives (or are they figurative paintings) with oil on canvas. The resulting hyper-real paintings depict crudely rendered Play-Doh monsters, decked out in dollar-store Christmas lights, paper flowers and decommissioned clock parts. But what is hyper-real when the subject itself is not ‘real’? Here we believe the artist as omniscient. But we are reminded that we are viewing a carefully recreated scene, a painter's scarecrow, meant to trick us into believing the silliness and its veracity like a type of representational mise-en-abyme. True, they are hyperreal, but to what extent, if the very imagery they depict is itself so detached from reality? Jose Carlos Naranjo, the only other representational painter here, finds a breakdown of reality through mark-making, where subject matter seems incidental, almost as an afterthought to their framing within the painted plane: where elements of urbanity (a chainlike fence, for instance) becomes a purely aesthetic pattern. Where a blue-black silhouette leads us to read such a mark as a figurative painting?
So what is a true ‘Contemporary Vision’? Perhaps, these artists suggest, the ability to inspire beyond the limits of our perception of reality, to question through form, content, and function, and blur lines between the real and the imagined?