THE SWEETNESS OF SWEET: WILL COTTON …
… at the RONCHINI GALLERY from 25/06/2014
‘Sweetness taken to an extreme degree, as it is in my paintings, becomes cloying, even repulsive and that’s where it gets interesting for me.’ Will Cotton
This week I was drawn to the show of paintings by WILL COTTON at the Ronchini Gallery off Bond Street by the featured picture of the young girl riding a dolphin cloud of melting ice cream amongst cotton woolly waves. I was curious to see how it was done, believing the work be a computer manipulated photo of a set mixed with painting – when I discovered it to be an oil painting.
The Ronchini Gallery show comprises just four works, immaculately produced, which have taken the artist one year to produce. His handling of paint is very light, sensual and skilful and the sentiment reminiscent of the work of Jeff Coons in the desire to seduce us as viewers. I enjoyed the strangeness and pastiche with the “sweeter than sweet” kitsch of his work. Another painting shows large spun sugar like clouds of pink, evoking Titian and Italian Romanticism fluffed with confectionary.
Art that challenges our ideas of good and bad taste or aesthetics inspires change and alternative points of view. I was interested in the subject matter and motive as in the late 1970s I made edible costumes and head dresses from perishable food and cakes, food sculpture, motivated by the female diet obsessions of the era. Later I worked for the Parisian photographers Pierre and Giles producing kitsch setting for their photography and pop videos, which they heavily Photo-Shopped into wonderful idealistic and tongue in cheek fantasies.
Although there are only four pieces in Will Cotton’s show there is also a book of his other questionably “delicious” work.
One to watch.
Pop in if you are passing!
Will Cotton, Ronchini Gallery, Dering St, London, W1 25 June – 9 August, 2014.
Anne Tilby, Mixed media designer and artist, Tilby is an experienced production set and costume designer for film, tv, film theatre and opera http://www.bigfrieze.com