17 August 2012
exhibition: gavin hurley
This New Zealand artist’s quirky approach to portraiture has us coveting his latest work.
Described as a portrait artist once removed, Gavin Hurley’s art works deviate from traditional portraiture, thanks to his unique cut and paste approach that draws out the essence of each subject. His portraits combine the use of paint, textured paper, aged illustrations and exercise book sheets. From Captain Cook and Ernest Shackleton to Rita Angus and Ferdinand Leger, each subject oozes wit and poise, their side burns, chin clefts and bow lips helping us to put a name to each face.
Contemporary art curator Hanna Scott has this to say about Hurley’s work: ”Collecting textures and papers from old books and second-hand haunts, his portraits have a genteel, antique decorum and a childlike naivety. Not portraits in the usual sense, of accurately representing a person, his works are a carefully neutral approximation, given individual personality with a set of clip-art style accoutrements, or in the particular placement of a lock of hair. Even when working with paint on canvas, rather than with paper, Hurley’s collage approach is visible in the curious accessories around his sitters.”
Gavin’s work is well known within the New Zealand art circuit, and after graduating from Elam’s School of Fine Arts in 1998 he has since exhibited nationally and internationally in both private galleries and at public art establishments. His meticulous attention to detail crossed with his witty approach to his subjects (think laser beams coming out of eyes) results in work that is quite simply, mesmerising.
Hurley’s latest works are currently part of a group exhibition titled “urbanscape”, accompanied by Peter Peryer and Emily Wolfe at the Melanie Roger Gallery. The exhibition runs until 1 September.
Exhibition: Gavin Hurley
Melanie Roger Gallery
226 Jervois Rd
(09) 360 1151www.melanierogergallery.com