exhibition of striking new paintings marks a coming of age for emerging
local artist Brent McLaurin. They highlight his remarkable skills
as a figurative painter and reveal a maturing of his artistic practice.
Collectively this series of paintings form a storyboard, as though
for a film outline, exposing unsettling domestic encounters between
various neighbours. These are suburban images, of regular people
caught up in darkness and desires beyond their control.
Individually, these paintings form the haunting memories that one
takes away from an exceptional film. Most are portraits, capturing
a long, contemplative moment in a characters life. Threads
of anxiety, tension and raw fear are woven together with a dark
sense of humour. Many paintings are hauntingly beautiful, our hearts
ache for what the young girl has seen or endured in Shell-shocked
in Suburbia, featured on the invitation. The juxtaposition of opposites,
such as façade and hidden realities, good and evil, light
and darkness, beauty and disfigurement are further clarified by
the title of this exhibition, Ivory Black Street.
This is Brents third solo exhibition. He cites his artistic
influences as being Francis Bacon, Lucien Freud, Surrealism and
the medical section of the local library. Combined, these sources
have produced powerful and confronting imagery that illuminate the
bizarre and the beautiful in everyday life.
Brent studied film and television, including cartoon animation,
from 1986 to 1988 inclusive. In 1990 he enrolled at the Claremont
School of Art, completing a Diploma in Fine Art in 1993, majoring
in painting. Brent held his second solo exhibition at The Church
Gallery in 2000, which was extremely successful for him, both in
sales and critical acclaim.