Thought of the Day

I don't believe in morality, but I believe in ethical conduct as set out by His Holiness the Dalai Lama: "Ethical conduct = a way of behaving that respects others’ right to be happy".

Saturday, 15 March 2008

@ affordable art fair of battersea, london

amongst the thousands of artworks on offer, one artist caught my attention: henry fraser, a scottish young painter who portraits boys. i am really tempted to invest in him as i have a strong feeling that he is set to become *esteemed*.

as steve observed, he uses a winning formula: the stylised figures with mouthless faces, neckless bodies and pointed noses own a cartoonish element, while their empathetic gaze is at once expressive (painful) and ironic (detached):

"In my work I endeavour to paint the soul. To make the invisible, visible. I hope to engage the viewer in reflecting on their own sense of being and mortality."
Henry Fraser

(c) Henry Fraser

The Great Houdini, (c) Henry Fraser

At the Monkey Bars, (c) Henry Fraser

David Barnett's Got a Box of Matches, (c) Henry Fraser

Blest (c) Henry Fraser

Enough, (c) Henry Fraser

Disgrace, (c) Henry Fraser

At the Beach. Nearly, (c) Henry Fraser

i believe that the strong expressionist quality of these paintings lies in the mastery of colour and brush. i am not sure how acquainted this artist is with schiele's artwork, but i can see strong similarities in the use of sanguineous splashes of red or green to suggest a human condition.

Sitting Woman with Legs, (c) Egon Schiele

the use of writing to emphasise a message is not unknown amogst contemporary artists, and the parallel with stella vine comes (to me) spontaneous:

Kate Moss (c) Stella Vine

unfortunately, i don't have a photo of the three exhibited works i had the pleasure to admire live in *quasi stendhal syndrome mode*. the *boy who is about to hang himself* reminded me of one picture by nara yoshimoto (see below) - whose art shares the same sketchy, sarcastic and dark features of fraser's work. however, fraser's boys show a more resigned attiutude, whereas nara's girls seem to be partly responsible of their own disgrace. in other words, they are victims of themselves and try to scorn their pain with defying looks.

Slight Fever, (c) Nara yoshimoto

the painting i was about to (but didn't) take home with me is called Mowdie, a scottish word for mole - so, a mole boy, who i renamed *the mad boy*. another close candidate was a shy boy with a stripy t-shirt, whose colours and look reminded me of loftino. : )

i just hope that these living artists are not *one-trick ponies* and I look forward to seeing their next brain-children.

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