BEYOND THE TRAIL
August 11th - September 3rd
I think of Trent Whitehead’s paintings and sculptures in this show as totems. There is definitely image magic in them and they appear more like effigies than art. They have the intensity of outsider art with rhythmic obsessive marks and strange morphing characteristics.
The sculptures particularly — part vase, part mask — feel like votive artefacts of a church, but not a church of organised religion. This is the new spirituality uncoupled from social construction and centred more on a direct relationship between you and your own mystical feelings.
The portraits and sculptures in this show become a friend or fellow traveller. They are like slightly skewwhiff clowns that no doubt whisper truths into your ear or on a bad day perhaps needle your anxieties.
There is great beauty here that seems to add to the fetishistic power of the works. The colours are primarily subdued with bright coloured accents activating the images. The gouache and acrylic too is dry and tactile, eliciting touch. These are works that want to be cuddled or at least cared for. As if in this very cold winter of Sydney we should wrap blankets around them to keep them warm.
You could of course kill all this voodoo-like power and link them to a long line of naïve or art brut painters and sculptors, to outsider art and the way that modernist art mined various forms of strange and outré work (from children to the mad). But under the particular psychic pressure of the contemporary world you will forgive me for seeing more than the aesthetic tradition wants to offer.
These works instead promise more than art. They are your friend and perhaps even protector. At the very least they are the perfect house god for urban tribes.
LOWER GROUND 171 WILLIAM STREET,
DARLINGHURST SYDNEY NSW 2O1O
AUSTRALIA PHONE +612 938O 8413
IF NOT NOW WHEN
Presented by Mild-Manners
If Not Now, When?
New painting and sculptural works by Trent Whitehead.
September 25 - October 12th.
Level 1, 499 Crown St
Surry Hills (above Title Store)
Trent Whitehead was born and raised in a small coastal surf community just north of Sydney, Australia in 1980.
Whitehead's works are based on series of imaginary creatures, often warped adaptions of people, plants and animals he encounters in everyday life. The intensity of these works capture the effervescence of the artist himself, pooling both experiences of his existence and abilities of his imagination to breathe life and kaleidoscopic colour into his painting and sculptural pieces.
With a background in graphic design and animation and no formal arts practice, his meticulously detailed character works have still opened doors with exhibitions in Sydney at Monster Children Gallery and Boutwell Draper Gallery as well as Jonathan Levine Gallery in New York.
For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org
CARAVAN - GROUP SHOW
THE REST IS IN YOU
New painting by Trent Whitehead
April 10th - April 30th
Following on from his hugely popular Sydney exhibition 'If Not Now, When?' in Sydney last year, Whitehead has been back in the studio to produce of larger paintings for his debut Melbourne solo exhibition.
Whitehead's works are based on series of imaginary creatures, often warped interpretations of people, plants and animals he encounters in everyday life. The intensity of these works capture the effervescence of the artist himself, pooling both experiences of his existence and abilities of his imagination to breathe life and kaleidoscopic colour into his painting and sculptural pieces.
With a background in graphic design and no formal arts practice, his meticulously detailed characters works have still opened doors with exhibitions in Sydney at Monster Children Gallery and Boutwell Draper Gallery.
RVCA CORNER GALLERY
82 Stanley St