“Borrowing from art history and popular culture, Glenn Brown transforms a familiar visual history into something extraordinary and alien. Paintings by Rembrandt, Fragonard, Salvador Dalí, Frank Auerbach and many others, including the illustrators for science fiction novels, have all been used by the artist as starting blocks. Yet it is not original paintings that Brown turns to for inspiration but reproductions – images printed on postcards, in books or digitised on the internet. Brown is fascinated by how an image changes when it is reproduced. Often cropped, its scale shifts as it is transferred to a new format. Texture is lost and colour distorted as the inaccuracies of the printing process take hold. Brown adopts these various accidental alterations as painterly strategies, grossly exaggerating them to question what it is to paint and to transfer people, places and objects into this medium. In his work, naturalistic colour becomes putrid or kitsch, figures are elongated and enlarged into the grotesque, flesh grows or begins to rot and heavy impasto brush marks, painstakingly copied, are rendered completely flat…”
Glenn Brown Retrospective, Tate Liverpool
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