Gallery: Pékin Fine Arts
Artist(s): Phénix Varbanov
Opening / Event Date: 28 Jul, 2023
Closing / End Date: 30 Sep, 2023
Date: August 9 – September 2, 2022
Venue: G/F, 5 Sun Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Inclined to repetition as the principal method of his process, Shannon Peel is relying on momentum and its subconscious and spontaneous nature to foster his painterly practice. Allowing for recurring elements to echo through the paintings, such an approach creates a sense of continuation and coherence through ongoing alternation, evolvement, and refinement. Equally pronounced and deceptive, the works comprising Goblin Fanfare are celebrating the establishment of the flow, form, space, and color, through perpetual self-quotation and technical improvisation.
The particularity of Peel’s studio work has been directly conditioned by the unique path that led him to painting. After spending the majority of his life drawing daily for a job, the Australian-born and Brooklyn-based artist approached the painting easel with admirable confidence and refined curiosity. Drawing straight onto the canvas and resolving the quandaries by spontaneously trying out things, the classical tropes are used as vessels to refine the style. Spellbound by the possibilities of oil as a medium and painting as a language, the long-established cast of concepts, shapes, and characters are employed as templates for this exhaustive survey. The constant revision and refinement continuously abstracts and transforms the archetypal formats while also utilizing the vintage freshness of subdued tones picked outside the traditional color palette. And although employing the layered textures built with the thinnest traces of pigment, the scraped, scratched, dirty, and broken-down textures are in fact bringing out the muted and seemingly discordant colors. This fanatical focus on textures and surfaces stems from years of working in the streets, the need to consider the existing elements, and the appreciation for their effect on the finished work.
On the other hand, the washed-out and absorbed color fields, mere evidence of life once existing on the canvas are in strong contrast with the resolute and brisk linework. Linework that is the core of the process and which is generously giving way to the other aspects of work with each new iteration of a particular image. In the end, hyper-stylized and heavily polished elements stemming from graffiti language are bastardized into “psychedelic optimism” aesthetics by clashing them against painterly tradition. Such “happy accidents” are the precious moments of confident balance between technique and emotion, and are the thriving moments for Peel’s proliferative practice. – Saša Bogojev
About Shannon Peel
Shannon Peel has recently started developing his own painterly practice in which he reinvents the traditional formats through subtle animation of otherwise inert motifs. His ongoing body of work Still Alive and Face Plant quite literally inserts life and dynamics to typically inanimate subjects, all while referencing both his graff roots and some of the most recognizable artistic genres. Through the use of dedicated repetition the artist is exhausting the subject matter, switching the focus towards technical experimentation and discovery.