Protagonists and antagonists, mirrored, trade sites and turn out to be just one. Outlaws, cowboys, antiheroes, gunslingers and harbingers of death populate Destino Matar, the new solo exhibition by John Copeland at V1 Gallery. People marked and marred by their lives and livelihoods. Lonesome even in the corporation of other individuals. Caught in suspenseful sequences or somber reflection.
The dynamic and usually panoramic compositions engage with the heritage from the Italian westerns developed by Sergio Leone and Sergio Corbucci in the sixties. In paintings on canvas and paper, figuration bleeds into abstraction and vice versa, supplying increase to new mental landscapes. Compositions harmony on a knife’s edge in between development and collapse. Vivid and visceral brush operate dance with wonderful and fragile lines. Slashes, smears, scrapes -push and pull -marks utilized and eradicated. Naked canvas distinction with dense and extreme patches of oil paint. Bright blue and pink hues, dirty earthy tones and a number of shades of black. There is pressure in equally the motifs and the execution. The paintings are vibrating.
The Italian westerns of the time period took the American beliefs, archetypes and iconography of the style and subverted them wholeheartedly. John Copeland’s new operate pay out tribute to the subversion and distortion in both sort and matter. Participating this iconography from a modern day place, illustrations or photos are flipped, doubled, abstracted, electrified, juxtaposed, altered, damaged and rebuilt. The violent Western male fantasy is scrutinized who are these characters certain by hefty destinies? Adult men with broken hearts, rather generally seemingly driven by greed or revenge or each, who are extremely proficient at something sinister. The inherent destruction and self-destruction. If there are heroes, the heroes are humans. Flawed individuals. Empathy also needs comprehension.
John Copeland’s new physique of operate channels the strength of Corbucci and Leone, their strategy, the radical subversion of self-graphic and -understanding, but it is much more a dialogue than an analogy.