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October 27, 2016

A Southern Exposure With Artist Paul Davies

Text by Huzan Tata

Explore the relationship between built and natural landscapes with the Australian artist

Click on any image to view in larger gallery

At first glance, they seem like photo negatives. A closer look, and you discover they’re actually photos and paintings. Los Angeles-based Australian artist Paul Davies, in his latest solo show in India, explores the relationship between nature and built environments through his vibrant photograms. The process involves cutting into photos to create screens, through which paint can be applied to the canvas. And the result is Davies’ visual diary of images that suggest surveillance, voyeurism and desire. The images in this diary encourage the viewer to build their own narrative.

5 Questions with the artist, Paul Davies

  1. Artistic Motivations “I’m interested in what can appear simultaneously idyllic and unnerving. In my work is a tension between built and natural environments, the rationality of modern architecture contrasts with the freedom of landscape and water.”
  2. Inspirations “The ‘cinematic/virtual image’ that Warren Neidich describes in his text Blow-Up (based on the film by Michelangelo Antonioni). My process begins with documenting the subject photographically, editing this image and collaging it with others onto the canvas. I am trying to play on the idea that a photographic negative can be manipulated to tell different ‘truths’.”
  3. On the wall at home “I would love to have an artists’ draft sketches or mock-ups to see the process and mistakes that they went through to produce the finished work. During an artist residency I did at the Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris I went to the Foundation Le Corbusier to look at the sketches and models for some of his buildings. These preliminary studies reveal the artists’ hand and thought process in a way that the finished work doesn’t.”
  4. Concerns that find a place in your art “Much of my work is based on the difficult balance between the built and natural environment.”
  5. If not an artist, you would be… “A musician. I’m not a performer at all but I admire the discipline of learning an instrument.”

Southern Exposure is on display at Art District XIII, New Delhi (Near Saket Metro Station, Lado Sarai) until November 8, 2016

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