Friday, June 21, 2024

Juxtapoz Journal – Joe Cheetham Declares “Life is Overtaking Me”


The portray apply of Joe Cheetham defies static categorisation, fluidly adapting model and medium to articulate assorted moments of human emotion. As such, Cheetham’s present exhibition Life is overtaking me will be perceived as a non-linear continuation of his first solo present at L21 “One thing for the weekend” (Palma de Mallorca, 2021). Whereas in his earlier work using cartoonish figures, main colors and an ingenious spray paint method allowed the artist to seize the frenzied communal pleasure of our bodies raving, this new physique of labor, executed in oil, makes use of a muted palette and a extra refined method to create a quiet, but pervasive sense of hysteria, insecurity and alienation.

Cheetham’s newest work evade conventional compositions of foreground and background, creating scenes the place type and color exist on a single aircraft. The artist performs with a deliberate ambiguity of time, gender and bodily expression to construct a stress that exists just below the floor. Inside these scenes the figures coalesce, intently occupying the identical area and but by no means touching or interacting, turning away from one another, seemingly uncomfortable of their proximity. With subtly distorted and exaggerated human kinds the characters are equally distinct and homogenous. The character’s gaze finds the viewer however by no means fairly engages, as a substitute trying by means of, previous or past, their expressions without delay unhappy, impartial, questioning, even suspicious. 

The work are closely cropped and densely populated, intentionally obscuring and concealing what the viewer sees. Like his characters, Cheetham’s focus exists each inside and outdoors of the body, fastidiously controlling what’s seen and crucially unseen. The characters, externally lit, appear weak and uncovered, as if threatened each by the sunshine’s supply and the shadows it creates. These distinguished shadows lurk, indifferent from the our bodies, forming figures of their very own to contribute to a way of claustrophobic unease. 

Made throughout the context of a worldwide pandemic, environmental collapse, cultures of individualism and techniques of greed, the work included in ‘Life is overtaking me’ converse to the sense of isolation and creeping malaise attributable to up to date existence. —Cristina Ramos


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