Oscar Perry, @VISIONS
Martin Baker Fan Club by Oscar Perry
1 – 31 October 2020
Visions Gallery, Level 9, 10 Lorne St, Auckland
For Oscar Perry, painting is a passport to board the inexplicable; to lasso those amorphous thoughts creeping on the cusp of cognition. The Melbourne artist finds inspiration in tangents and missteps, made possible by wanderings of the mind and foot. He does much imagining in and of his paintings, creating them for fictional settings that will not come to pass.
Ploughing through a modernist, abstract expressionist lineage, Perry caches his paintings with the perceptual debris of patient observation. Recently he has been contemplating the role of a painter; thinking of his own practice as codified reconnaissance with the world. He analogises this act of deep looking to a scene from an 80s film, where the broken-down protagonist is wheeled out into the garden of a cottage hospital, blanket on lap, left to look for hours in silence. This romantic-pathetic idea of observation has become a totem for the moment, where the world has been forced to retreat and watch and contemplate in the umbra of COVID-19. We are all in a state of social paraplegia, forced to look — but not touch.