“Stanligrad in every city” – Padraig Timoney
Opening Friday 30 November 2012 – from 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm
From 30 November 2012 to 7 January 2013
For his new solo exhibition in the Raucci/Santamaria Gallery, the Irish artist Padraig Timoney (Derry, 1968 – lives and works in New York) presents a series of works of large dimensions. The works, all of 2012, once again highlight the artist’s capability of using painting, but sometimes also photography, sculptures, video and installation, as a medium to represent multiplicity of the contemporary and all the possible ways in which his images can be reproduced. The idea of a recognizable style, often a trade-mark in many artists, becomes in Timoney a marginal issue: the variety of techniques and languages used do not want to show an alleged visual eclecticism but rather reflect the multiform complexity of reality, introducing the new concept of “hyper-style”. For this reason, though the skill and intelligence would allow him to, the artist avoids to enslave his work to a single formal register, both employing techniques invented by himself, and modernizing customs in use since the dawn of painting. Even in this constant variation there is a coherence and a continuity of research which emerge and flow into a hyper-style superintending by different means towards the same target.
Such experimentation supports a creative process which is intimately connected to memory and its interpretation, coming along with a lucid critic of crisis correlated to the reproducibility of images. The title of the exhibition “Stanligrad in every city” takes its cue from a non-advertised event which saw an aeroplane flying in the sky above Manhattan for half an hour fluttering the advertisement “Stanligrad in every city”. The name of the Soviet city was misspelt to avoid complications in showing banners with a political intent in the skies of New York. However the message and the reference to the Stalingrad battle – having its 70th anniversary this year – remain, marking the first great political-military defeat of Nazi Germany.
The utopian political-social implication of a “Stalingrad in every city” is obviously linked to the idea of transmitting to a large audience a universal message in the form of an advertisement and language circulation. The ways in which communication and its crisis move become the interpretation of the exhibition. Beyond the banner, shown as a relic and a memento, the artist displays a series of pictures which, although technically and formally different, are bound by the same fil rouge.
In “OhOhOh” the artist presents a comic strip-like oil painting, almost an altar piece, where the unlucky but ingenious Wile E. Coyote is about to be run over by a train; while in the abstract Roosha” the movement of the sepia ink flow, recalls the visual translation of the language of senses. In “Gone for” – green, red, black and white charcoal drawing – Timoney realistically reproduces an overturned truck on a country roadside while the only human presence seems to be totally uninterested. “Green washed by Sandy” stratifies on the same painting, thanks to the use of a photographic developer, one view overlapping another view with a street zebra crossing.
Timoney offers a number of cues: means of transport which are out of control, changes of direction, a blocked or cryptic communication, messages which, although apparently explicit, become imprecise or diverted. Hints to the continuous change in languages that bring into question the perspective of a non-conventional interpretation of the world and its fragmented transformation.