Julia Robinson, Justine Varga, and Kenny Pittock in issue 88 of Art Collector
Justine Varga, Julia Robinson, and Kenny Pittock all feature in the current issue of Art Collector magazine.
Kenny Pittock, who first exhibited at the Gallery in 2018, is profiled by Jane Sullivan. Titled Word Play, the piece covers Pittock’s recent exhibitions at MONA FOMA and MARS Gallery, and his upcoming exhibition at Hugo Michell Gallery:
Pittock often lights on objects that are kitsch in the sense that they are valueless or disregarded, but he draws out unexpected lateral associations that give them new meaning.
There’s sincerity in the way he tried to replicate these everyday objects, from the graphic design details of logos to the crumpled packaging, but he’s not interested in hyperrealism. “I grew up watching Wallace and Gromit. I really like seeing things slightly wonky with a thumbprint in them,” he says.
This associative mode of working means a studio packed with small pieces and ideas in development, all waiting for their opportunity. “I’m always working pretty solidly,” Pittock says. Part of what he most enjoys is assembling these individual items into exhibitions and longer narratives. He compares it to the way stand-up performances take their 10-minute sets and draw them together into a longer show with a narrative arc. “I really like the way that comedians are able to tell big jokes while telling little jokes that keep you interested throughout,” he says.
Image: Kenny Pittock, Wallets and Gromit, 2018, acrylic on canvas, 30 x 40 cm.
Julia Robinson features in the issue as one of five South Australian artists we need to pay closer attention to, as selected by Liz Nowell:
Her recent work, as seen in Long Ballads at Sydney’s Artspace in 2017 and The National 2019: New Australian Art, features elaborately-adorned gourds. This peculiar, phallic vegetable – that the artist surrounds in Tudor-era ceremonial attire – reflects Robinson’s growing interest in fecundity, growth, and European fertility rituals, some of which are still practiced today. With their overt phallic and seed-spreading references, Robinson’s gourd works draw strong links between nature and sexuality, doing so with a sense of candour, oddity, and playfulness.
Image: Julia Robinson, Royal Peplum, 2018, gourd, silk, thread, pins, brass, gold plating, steel, padding, and other mixed media, 140 x 80 x 60 cm approx.
Justine Varga’s Areola, which exhibited at the Gallery from February 7 to March 16, is reviewed by Andrew Purvis for One Sentence Reviews:
Amongst exquisitely-framed rectangles of colour, the image of a window repeats, signalling the reintroduction of representational imagery to Justine Varga’s photography; a return that coalesces with the artist’s ongoing investigations into the materiality of the photographic process to stunning effect.
Image: Justine Varga, Lattice #4, 2017-18, from Areola, chromogenic photograph, 165.5 x 127 cm.