An obsessive technician, these works are more than paintings. Their physicality and highly individual execution mark the artist as a stand-out in his generation of Australian painters. “This show is all about the simple elements of line, colour and form,” explains Chris. “It’s a further refinement of my slightly obsessive technical practice.”
Observers’ talk of slow, romantic nostalgia. Of seduction and beauty. And an idealism that butts up against the realities of our time poor, fast, paced life – ‘the immediacy generation’.
Chris’ latest body of work draws on childhood memories and contemporary struggles, engaging the viewer on multiple levels. The initial visual impact belies the highly relevant social commentary that traverses decades of popular culture. The obvious references to iconic Pop work, in particular Roy Lichtenstein, has been informed and enthused with the highly stylised Japanese Manga tradition. The paintings delve deep into the way we communicate with each other and are rendered with an aesthetic sensibility that blurs the past with the contemporary. The hyper-colour and often sweet initial visual response gives way to deeper, darker feelings. In effect Booth creates “Pop-Noir”.
The popular culture of the 1960’s and 70’s was a time where the mass dissemination of imagery primarily happened via television. In Australia, it was limited to four channels or two if you lived outside major centres. It was a time when a phone was attached to a desk or a wall. Children waited in the early morning for the test pattern to give way to cartoons and the news cycle was 24 hours, not minute by minute. Booth uses nostalgia to look at the way we visually communicate now. The themes of longing and anticipation are still there but in the “selfy” generation it is shared with everyone.
This work engages us. As the most famous Pop artist, Andy Warhol said “art is about liking things”. Similarly, Chris Booth entices us to like, to love the past but also to question the motives of our society now.
Check out this selection from the exhibition…
If I should die tonight
Ten Days of Perfect Tears
Test Pattern No. 2, Waiting for Thunderbirds
The Chris Booth Super Pop Mk4 exhibition opens Thursday 16th July 6 – 8pm until 30 July, 2015. Visit Art Equity for details www.artequity.com.au. Written by Ralph Hobbs.