Charlie Isoe – In the Bad Bush at Lazarides Rathbone Gallery
Australian-born artist Charlie Isoe returns to London with his large-scale canvases and sweeping brush strokes for a second solo exhibition, In the Bad Bush. His style, as fans will know, is certainly interesting, covering realistic scenes or portraits with broad, colourful marks and abstract impressions.
Having left school at the age of 16, Isoe was drawn into a lifestyle of street graffiti, skateboarding and travel before going back into education to obtain qualifications resulting in a fine art degree. Though finding initial success in the art scene, Isoe has remained elusive wandering the streets of various countries and continents over the past years. His latest 16-piece exhibition In the Bad Bush reflects this, commenting on his personal experiences and the social surroundings he encounters.
Isoe’s style is both realistic and abstract. The eponymous painting, The Bad Bush is created across two separate canvases covered in a detailed and vibrant green “constructed” jungle background of potted plants. These are superseded by writhing skin-coloured swipes of paint emerging from more fully formed representations of sexual anatomy. Isoe utilises a combination of oil, acrylic, spray paint and digital print to build up the subversive and immersive imagery. Teary Eyed is one of the more subdued and beige-toned close-up facial portraits. The whole canvas drips with paint conveying a real sense of sadness.
The large photographic prints that form the backdrops for some of Isoe’s works are a new element among the recurrent abstract motifs of flesh, faces and sexual depravity. They highlight the juxtaposition between the reality of experience and the obscurity of recollection.
This is a fairly monstrous exhibition both in terms of canvas size and content. Isoe himself confesses that he sees the “animalistic side of human nature” and this certainly comes across in his creations. Not for the faint hearted, In the Bad Bush will mainly appeal to those keen on the Lazarides “outsider art” set.
Photos: Sarah Tsang
Charlie Isoe: In the Bad Bush is at Lazarides Rathbone Gallery until 25th July 2013, for further information visit here.