Irish artist Gareth Mooney paints celebratory portraits of musicians and artists. Taking imagery from posters, magazines and photographs from internet fan sites as a reference, Mooney produces his work from the perspective of a fan, casting the subject as a hero or icon.
Artists such as Philip Guston, Martin Kippenberger and Karen Appel have informed Mooney’s figurative style. He deliberately avoids approaching photorealism in his work, producing instead what he calls “painterly approximations” of the person in question.
Formally influenced by the flat, stylized blocks of colour prevalent in Pop Art and images from comic book scenes, an element of depth is added to his work through his choice of medium. Thick impasto oils are used in an almost sculptural way, as if the paintings were being ‘built’. The pleasure involved in this process-driven aspect of Mooney’s practice is equally important to him as the finished pieces themselves.
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