Categories ArtPosted on

Chris Greene: the Painterly Subversive

Literate, numerate, often amusing and occasionally subversive, the paintings of London-based artist Chris Greene successfully combine the traditions of Western art with contemporary high and low culture.

Literate, numerate, often amusing and occasionally subversive, the paintings of London-based artist Chris Greene successfully combine the traditions of Western art with contemporary high and low culture. In his work, the supposed gulf between abstract and figurative art becomes meaningless as Metaphorical Realism demonstrates the lingering power of his finely crafted painting.

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Much of his work draws upon the literary and artistic canons of Western art. The fantastical characters that share the stage with everyday folk in his canvases embed us in a world of myths and legends; a world far more threatening than the safe, Disneyfied fantasies of most mass media. Chris Greene’s characters – be they bug-eyed or all too human – suggest that not all stories have a happy ending.

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To achieve this artistic tour-de-force Chris Greene combines a background in contemporary oil painting with explorations into the past techniques of the European Masters. Methods of preparing canvases, often following complex geometries based upon some obscure 16th century theory, while using traditional pigments and painting techniques all lend his work a familiar, if rarely seen, power that reminds the viewer of Hogarth or Stanley Spencer.

This is not to say that Chris Greene is content to return to the past by demonstrating his mastery of techniques that most painters can only dream of. Closer inspection of his work will quickly dispel the viewer of any doubts that this work is somehow ‘safe’. His work is amusing, thought-provoking and essentially subversive. Many artists attempt to shock the viewer with poorly executed references to contemporary street slang, advertising or entertainment. Others withdraw into a private world of abstraction or self-analysis that is immune to interpretation. Chris Greene’s work has the ability to transcend much of what passes as art today through its ability to shock, amuse and inform the viewer.

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London is the art world’s bazaar. Through it passes an endless stream of valuable masterpieces, being traded like so many football cards. Meanwhile, artists like Chris Greene work away at producing art that transcends the fashionable, or the safe, in a remarkable way. Visitors to London with an interest in contemporary art should combine their gallery views and blockbuster exhibitions with visits to the many year-end shows, small galleries and open studios that bring artistic London alive.

www.chrisgreene.uk

Seen this week

Categories ArtPosted on

Super Sharp: The First Instalment of ‘RTRN II JUNGLE’

Regular readers of SEEN will know what fans we are of the Fashion Space Gallery at the London College of Fashion in John Prince’s Street. It’s a place where it is possible to gauge current cultural attitudes as they happen. ‘Super Sharp’ is the first in a series of exhibitions and events exploring the style, sound and Rave Culture in the nineties. It starts on Thursday 1st February and runs until Saturday 21st April 2018.

Categories Food&DrinkPosted on

Burns Night: Whisky 101 at The Gallery 

Celebrating Burns Night without whisky is nothing short of sacrilege. Where better then to honour Scotland’s greatest poet than at The Gallery in West Hampstead, which has become renowned for its dual fascinations – whisky and beer. Here’s a Short Epigram on Parting with a Kind Host in the Highlands penned by Burns himself: When death’s …

Categories MusicPosted on

David Ramirez Releases ‘We’re Not Going Anywhere’ and Plays St Pancras Old Church

David Ramirez has announced details of his new album We’re Not Going Anywhere, set for UK commercial release via Thirty Tigers on January 12th, 2018. Produced by Sam Kassirer, the album finds Ramirez painting a vividly imagined picture of contemporary America through the songwriter’s own perspective of having dual American and Mexican heritage. It follows …