Artist statement
I came to art late in life and almost by accident. A lot of the art I make seems to be making sense of that and making sense of art: I often pull apart other artists’ (usually painters) work to see how it works, which involves a lot of art historical research. I then restage and recontextualise it in a way that changes an emphasis or pulls out certain aspects that I find intriguing or surprising - these might be thematic, historical or technical. The end result might be installation, film, sound, collage or a print. Sometimes the source image is very recognisable, often it is completely transformed and the original isn’t readable even as a palimpsest.
Although the end result isn’t a painting, I’m often grappling with problems of painting: representation, perspective, composition, framing, colour. I dramatise the act of looking at an artwork that the viewer is in some way made aware of their own part in the artwork, perhaps by foregrounding the overarching metaphor of painting as window, mirror or box. The work is often quite theoretically informed but I’m more inclined to use art as a practice for criticising ‘theory’ than vice versa.
Wherever I start, I invariably find that I’ve made another self portrait.
Guy Undrill
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