From Sharne Wolff…
For someone who makes art about anxiety and failure there’s something ironic about Tom Polo being an artist whose work is ‘so hot right now’. Polo graduated in 2006 and has been kept busy ever since with a series of one-off solo and group exhibitions, a residency at The Australia Council London Studio and an accompanying show in London. He’s also entered art prizes and had considerable success with these including winning one of his own creation – the 2009 B.E.S.T. Contemporary Art Prize.
For Future Figurative Polo has made a series of small-scale figurative paintings and drawings on paper. His painted heads and faces appear as basic blobs of colour with splashes and squiggly lines (or hollow spaces) as substitutes for eyes, mouths and other facial features. Four messy disfigured drawings are made with thin lines of oil pastel on paper. Polo is experimenting with the limits of abstraction, but all of these figures look like the kind of thing you’d paint if you didn’t quite know how. They represent a twisted kind of gesture which falls somewhere in the elegant space Polo has shaped between cynicism and sincerity. Besides making a comment on the state of art itself, Polo’s work is a brave and personal take on the artist’s inner world.
Until August 10
Pic: Tom Polo, Multiple Personality, 2013. Acrylic on linen 20 x 20 cm. Courtesy the artist and Gallery9.