From Andrew Frost…
The phenomenon of pareidolia is the perception of faces and other recognisable shapes in random stimuli like clouds or paint splotches. Or perhaps in the cheese left behind in a pizza box. Leo Coyte’s exhibition Pizzeria toys with pareidolia, teasing the viewer with an arrangement of images that are face-like in the most basic sense: eyes, nose, mouth and hair. Using the familiar colours and shapes of pizza boxes – errant dancing tomatoes, amphora, olives and party balloons – the images pull back into abstraction, albeit the ready-made abstraction of a found object, but still a skilful feint as all of this is produced with oil paint on canvas.
In a sequence of large canvases Coyte offers up versions of his approach: Smile is a face composed of balloons, streamers and faux-bricks; Yolk Thinger features the aforementioned tomatoes around gloopy smiley-face extrusions while Oh Man hints at a European influence in gruesome chocolate spires and white chocolate chess pieces. The faces remain no matter how hard we might try to disassociate and suggests a disturbing revelation that can be found in everyday, household stains: there are faces everywhere – and they’re watching you.
Until August 17,
Galerie Pompom, Chippendale.
Pic: Leo Coyte, Oh Man, 2013. Oil on linen, 112 x 112 cm.