Friday, December 9, 2016

Sightseeing in the city

The paintings of Brett Amory seem destined to settle deep in the memory, and have a quality of having been dragged from there.

Amory is said to have developed his style by painting from cell phone photos. That's something of a surprise. His work doesn't have the kind of flat ephemerality I'd associate with quickie digital photography. Even viewing it on a computer screen, where everything is made up of pixels by definition, these paintings feel real: real people in real places undergoing real weather, frequently kind of harsh. One point of comparison is Edward Hopper, but more in love with mildew.


susan said...

With their intensely moody atmospheres it's easy to understand how his paintings caught your attention. He may well have used cell phone pictures as reference guides but his ability to evoke depth and character have everything to do with training and experience rather than snapshots meant for uploading to social media. It looks too as though he's doing very well with selling them. The comparison with Hopper is apt but his work was much more stagey.

Ben said...

Being out alone, especially at night, can be exciting, or threatening, or simply sad. I think at various points he captures all these moods. And yes, it has apparently brought him a measure of success. Which is good. True that Hopper's paintings can be stagy. In some ways I think that was the point, his trying to prove street realism could have a larger than life quality.