Writing & Press
This section contains a selection of articles, exhibition reviews and selected texts.
Citylife, June 2002
This is startling Photo-Realism. The application of paint is immaculate: surfaces appearing as if they've been very thinly built up over photographic prints. Regardless of technique, the results make for a decent double-take: that has the potential for quite a disconcerting sensation. The latter is perhaps alluded to in the show's title, but it's definitely enhanced by the subject matter. Images of urban America conjure up a kind of 'cool' or 'street' aesthetic - and naturally, a cinematic, 'dreamy' one. It works given the context here - a clothing and gadget retail 'store' favoured by Northern Quarter cronies. Indeed the inclusion of cop cars, graffiti or the subway elicit a warm response in the shop's clientele - being contemporary cliches, just as 'a hint of' Berlin or Paris is a Bohemian cliche in other circles. Yet it's the stark depictions of suburbia that intrigue here, being beyond the pale of recognisable territory and providing more than a balance to 'the city'. They look like stills from an Air video, or some suitably 'post-everything/weirdly nostalgic' pop-cultural moment. A beguiling vibe lies within this facsimile of the antiseptically clean, oppressively sanitised, and conservative atmosphere of middle America. Hellish and hyper-real, that's 'real' America. The bottom line is that Hackney's 'a maker of images'. Many artists take photos then paint over the projected image as control. But it's not just 'colouring in' as innumerable choices, selections and actions are made by the artist in the process. Where it's desired, it makes for the most purely descriptive paintings possible. Ace."
10 June 2002