Dorian FitzGerald - Elton John's Sunglasses, Woodside Estate, Old Windsor, England (description)

Dorian FitzGerald’s grand-scale paintings document the excesses of society by depicting its opulence. This work reproduces a photograph of part of British singer Elton John’s legendary sunglass collection, an image associated with consumerism and often seen in the tabloids. Over the years the artist has refined a technique that consists of transferring a line drawing of the chosen image onto canvas, outlining each motif with a ridge of clear caulking and then filling the delineated areas with acrylic paint, using a squeeze bottle. The process, which requires extreme attention to detail, produces “liquid mosaics,” images that appear to be composed of nothing but colour. As a result, they are legible from a distance but dissolve into indistinct camouflage patterns at close range. This compositional technique creates a hypnotic effect that adds a new dimension to pictorial illusion and traps the gaze in contemplation. Here, the painted image points up the frivolous extravagance of the more than 4,000-pair collection.
Julie Bélisle

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