Australian artist Neil Haddon had a busy 2012. There were exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, and his work featured in MONA’s ‘Theatre of the World’ (open until 4 April). To cap it all off Haddon was just awarded an Australia Council residency in New York. Time Out spoke to Haddon about what's next.
How would you describe your work?
I'd say they are often large, sometimes reflective (like a black mirror), sometimes dark, sometimes highly saturated, highly coloured, semi abstracted paintings of figures lifted from the pages of minor local news stories. They are painted with high gloss enamel paints on aluminium panels.
How has your painting been evolving lately?
I’ve recently returned from a trip to Los Angeles and New York. In a very unexpected way I have Picasso's 'Demoiselles D'Avignon' and the Matisse paintings from MOMA clouding my vision. There is something utterly compelling about these paintings that fragment vision in such an acutely active way… and yet hold it all together… on a knife edge. I have just made an exhibition of work that explored this approach but extended the process out to a variety of different media, including video, sculpture and sound.
And what have you got planned for Dianne Tanzer Gallery?
This will be a group of paintings that take great liberties with images from local newspapers. The newspapers come from the marginal community that I live in (Hobart) and the images are often from very minor stories. The paintings take these small stories and make them operatic in scale. They become overblown or aggrandised. Like they are trying to compete on the big stage but without the content to back it up. The paintings will be displayed against some wall painting that indulges this operatic tendency.