James Tebbutt‘s paintings are a bubblegum reflection of a plastic universe, a world of consumerist folly, a breakdown in traditional forms and a merging of new ones. This is art as mash up; American and Japanese comics, Art wrapped up in an advertisement aesthetic, internet images seen through news filters. It’s an art rooted in now, in pictures that already have life, that zing and spit, subdue and comfort, throw magic dust in our eyes and seduce us in like a materialist siren on the edges of a consumerist bliss.
Blissed out. Yes. Tebbutt makes art that is blissed out. A more hard edged psychedelia that’s devoid of the 1960’s mysticism of a spaced out style. Rather its steelier, is aware of its own power, it uses and appropriates motifs we’re all familiar with in order to make its point, a wonderful mix of abstraction and figuration that assumes we have been fed on the same language since birth. And we have. That is always the point. Urban artists are acutely aware of their lexicon and our commonality. Of what connects us. Tebbutt is no exception. His playful use of high culture, cartoons, bright garish colours, various painterly techniques and strong bold patterns are a re-appropriation of the known world. Of our consumer reality. Here’s what he has to say about his own work:
My current work demonstrates my ongoing exploration of the medium of paint. Varying styles of paint application – the drip the splatter, the expressionistically painted, the flat, the cartoon like, the smooth, the rough, all created with different types of paint, jostle for position on the finished canvas, desperate for a place in the ‘final cut’. Areas of paint, objects and various marks are laid down as I work then perhaps painted out as the work evolves and the composition develops. Happy accidents are as an integral part of the work as the clean and crisp or the neatly painted, one offsetting the other. The process of painting being equal too if not more significant than the chosen visual references and motifs.