God is on Our Side
curated by Raffaella Guidobono
On the occasion of his first Italian solo exhibition the young Anglo-Chinese artist Gordon Cheung invites the viewer to enter into a mythological space: psychedelic rocks, craters from which a paradoxical nature is born and the ruins of an indecipherable world which is almost always covered or surmounted by a cicular form like a spiritual aura whose presence reassures us a little. This whole within a luminous post-nuclear landscape.
With his mix of techniques he re-invents the lithographs of John Martin, drawn for the original version of John Milton’s Paradise Lost into a series of 24 canvases in which the poem’s illustrations are revised and corrected. They are reproduced in technicolour, animated by his use of spray paint, ink and acrilic used like oil paint, to highlight that the disfiguration of the nature that surrounds us is so extended that we have been projected into an irreversible process. The artist explains: “I felt I could re-translate John Martin’s Paradise Lost series into a contemporary context. The idea that we are loosing our relationship to Nature and the Earth and the idea that Paradise is definitely lost is a concept with which we can all relate”.
Gordon Cheung prepares every single canvas with a background of the stock listings of the Financial Times, an English newspaper which has always been an precise point of reference about the state of the economic world and is moreover, highly esteemed and feared for the reviews on the arts in general. Having prepared the base with the best English paper, the artist covers the background with a calibrated amount of spray paint, which he painstakingly prepares to create tones of colour which are commercially non-existent.
For Gordon, the columns of common stock are a direct metafor of contemporary reality: representing a fantastic world in which investors chase the promise of instant riches, a virtual reality in which instable numbers condition our lives.
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