In great company, at a dynamic new location and in his first bricks-and-mortar-gallery exposure since 1998, Clay Bodvin is showing examples of innovative new work alond side Ruth Thomas Edmond and Brett Culbert at Compose Art Gallery. Bodvin has contributed six pieces to this group exhibition - based on just two compositions. And Compose Art has, in only its second show, presented an exciting, challenging and informative show all at the same time. Bodvinís work has been variously described as photomedia painting which, in this particular exhibition, takes the form of - large digitally-rendered images translated into vibrant inkjet prints on art paper; and - large marouflage-panels (digitally-rendered compositions transferred onto masonite which are then overworked with traditional media like oils, acrylics, charcoal and grease pencils).
The variety, flavour and impact is extraordinary. For example, with Raw Materials (Still Life in Waiting) #2 a free-floating arrangement of exotic flowers is shown as a 60cm sq inkjet print. Opposite this is a 90cm sq, oil painted, marouflage-panel of the same composition and treatment - making for fascinating comparisons in details, textures and colours.
Similar contrasts can be found in Bodvinís three different stylistic renderings of the same composition - a still life, room setup with a bowl of oranges in the foreground. These are also output as 60 cm sq. inkjet prints - but are then hung next to another marouflage-panel (based on the abstracted version of the prints).
Assessing the differences between these digital prints and the painted/over-drawn panels is as intriguing as spotting the similarities. This wide range of styles and painterly treatments relates to the artistís conceptual premise of Object:Desire/Result:Luxury which refers to historical aspects of the development of still life painting.
Raw Materials Still Life In Waiting No 2
Year Created: 2004
Medium: Oil Painting
Width: 900 mm
Height: 900 mm
Depth: 60 mm
Utilising technology to reshape and transform expectations, Clay Bodvin's work illustrates the notion of paintings not being definitive in their representation while capturing that luxurious nature of everyday things, as exemplified by the work of Matisse.
The artistís personal vision of luxuriousness is aptly echoed by Neil Cox writing in Tate: The Art Magazine; issue 29, 2002. He observed that "...Luxury is a relation to the world which philosopher Friedrich Schiller might have described as that of Ďmelting beautyí, where the phenomenal world is reformed in sensuous matter (painting in this case) so that it softens the hard edges of the psyche..."
Since 1998, Bodvin has been reinventing his art practise to exploit the possibilities found in computer image-rendering software and says, "the biggest challenge has been figuring out how to merge this virtual-painting process with my desire to continue making physical, painted and drawn art-objects".
Bodvinís work will also be seen in Compose Artís next exhibition. This will focus on original work and include a street-art festival, coinciding with New Zealandís summer. The combination of this reinvented artist and stylish new Gallery is one to watch.
Clay Bodvin has been a Premiere Portfolio Member at absolutearts.com since 2004. View more of his work at: http://www.absolutearts.com/portfolios/m/mediummixer/.