GHOST - COLLIER WEBB
‘Ghost’ is an ongoing experiment that reappears periodically in various collaborations and identities translated, according to the purpose, in collage and painting. In 2012 the artist spent about a year in South-East Asia and it is in this unfamiliar context, away from his intimate surroundings, where he started producing small cut-outs by removing the presence of furnishing items from the photographs found in auction catalogues like Sotheby’s.
Formally the works evolve from the dichotomy of two opposing images: the one evoking a three-dimensional object sitting within a space, with its depth and shadows, and the one of a super flat surface, either a fragment of a textile or a found design pattern. The battle of the two different realities, foreground and background, perspective and flat dimension, creates a sense of unease reminiscent of early Renaissance paintings.
In 2021 the project reached its full potential in collaboration with Collier Webb, designer and maker of the finest lighting, furniture and hardware in England. Several artworks were commissioned for their Pimlico Road showroom and window display in London.
The ink and oil paintings depict best selling pieces from Collier Webb's inspiring range of interior furnishings contrasted by the sensuous and tactile patterns of timeless textiles from Gainsborough. The collages on gradient paper play on light and shadow defined by the silhouette of their iconic pieces.
‘As our attentiveness furnishes a room, so habit unfurnishes it, making space in it for us. In that room of mine at Balbec, “mine” in name only, there was no space for me: it was crammed with things which did not know me, which glared my distrust of them back at me, noting my existence only to the extent of letting me know they resented me for disturbing theirs. Without letup, in some unfamiliar tongue, the clock, which at home I would never have heard for more than a few seconds a week, on surfacing from a long reverie, went on making comments about me, which must have sounded offensive to the tall violet curtain, for they stood there without a word in a listening posture, looking like the sort of people who will shrug their shoulders to show they are irked by the mere sight of someone.’
Marcel Proust, In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower, In Search of Lost Time – James Grieve translation