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  • Alex IV
  • Alex IV
  • Alex IV
  • Alex IV
  • Alex IV
  • Alex IV
  • Alex IV

Alex IV

By Sam Massey

2024
oil on aluminium
30x26cm unframed

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ARTIST STATEMENT

"These paintings follow the thread of red that ran through my recent series 'A Lullaby For Suffering'. Rather than roses, the vehicle for this exploration has been light in portraiture. The two resulting portraits in this exhibition operate at the intersection of photography and painting. The role of the camera and its ability to offer alternative representations of the subject enabled me to create two distinctly different portraits; one vibrating vibrantly unaware of the viewer, the other staring starkly from the dark. 'Alex IV' is saturated in light and colour and leans into the camera’s serendipitous ability to capture a blurred moment. 'Pope Nick' presents a seated figure. The format and palette are prompted by Velazquez’s celebrated Papal portrait of 1650 whilst the proportions reveal the camera’s presence between the viewer and subject."

BIO

Massey is an award-winning artist who completed his Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) at the National Art School, Sydney in 2015. In the following years he produced two major bodies of work. The first was selected for exhibition at the Gosford Regional Gallery as part of Emerging 2017. The subsequent series formed his first solo exhibition in 2018.

In 2019 Massey made his long-awaited pilgrimage to Europe. It was here that he encountered first-hand the work of the old masters, most notably Velazquez, whose influence has led to several career highlights. That same year he won the Traditional Fisher’s Ghost Art Award and painted his evocative portrait of Archibald winner Guy Maestri. This would be hung in the 2020 Salon des Refuses to critical acclaim. 2020 also saw Massey awarded the Mayoral Commendation for his painting The Gates, the first of his dark floral works that have become an ongoing branch of his practice. This branch bore further fruit in 2021 with a two-person show at Home Gallery which saw all but two of the series acquired by collectors old and new.

Between these highlights Massey has participated in several group exhibitions and had dozens of other pieces selected in prizes across the country. Whilst his work is most heavily collected in Sydney and Australia more broadly, he has recently entered international collections.