Mirror the World
George Rouy – Body Suit
02/06/2023 — Vivienne Westwood
Rouy has a way of visually expressing the intangible. His figurative paintings manifest the human condition, with a language that exists somewhere between the literal and ethereal. Through his nuanced depictions of the body – captured alone, gathered in quiet pairs, or imprisoned in crowds of stirring energy – he intertwines both physical and psychological states. In his own words, ‘I don’t think it’s a depiction of utopia, or of the ideals, its more the conflict of the blurred lines in between.’ The artist approaches his subjects with sensitivity, proposing elements of desire, alienation, chaos or freedom; a space where all the layers of human existence emerge.
Over the past five years, George Rouy has established his presence among a new international generation of figurative painters. His portraits are above all expressive depictions of identity, in the context of a globally and technologically driven 21st century. Comprising forty-seven paintings, his debut book, ‘George Rouy – Selected Works 2017 – 2023′ offers an inaugural monograph of Rouy’s work, published by Tarmac Press. It brings together selected paintings from over ten bodies of work, to survey his dynamic and signature use of the human figure, which, constrained and liberated, speaks to the extremities of our time.
For the book itself, Rouy has collaborated with photographer Kingsley Ifill, who documented the process within it. Relative to painting, photography captures a feeling or moment in time. In this way, each artist embraces the idea of ‘accepting states of being’ – be it those of calmness or chaos. ‘Photography is honest,’ offers Rouy. ‘But at the same time, it’s all through one person’s gaze. I think Kingsley’s gaze is very intricate. It adds to the work.’ Watch as each artist discusses the creative process behind the series.
Visit George Rouy’s ‘BODY SUIT’ exhibition.
Venue: Hannah Barry Gallery
Dates: 3rd of June – 9th of September 2023.