Comprising uncanny accumulations and pairings of classical forms and Google image search results, Riley Payne’s fastidiously realised drawings might be considered in terms of collage. Banana bunches and cigarette-smoking carrot men coalesce, while a neon hot dog perches before Antonio Canova’s Sleeping Nymph. Art history and the absurd knock heads, as do the labour of technique and the flippancy of the one-liner.
Dan Rule, Mad Deep Thoughts, Perimeter Editions 001, 2012
By combining everyday, mundane and borderline absurd imagery with various pieces of text, almost- recognisable shapes and pictorial framing squiggles, Riley Payne creates highly-detailed drawings that invite new readings on seemingly unrelated visual elements, the results being alternately humorous, jarring or harmonious.
Whereas in previous bodies of work Payne has re-drawn the text or shapes in coloured pencil (introducing a new layer of visual back and forth to the equation – a drawing of a photo of a sculpture on a drawing of a photo) in his new series RUB, his debut exhibition with Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne, Payne has eliminated colour altogether, leaving the added elements bare, as un-touched, un- rendered white paper.
By creating a void where previously there was a mass, Payne attempts to subtly shift the direction of the work’s individual query; from ‘this is here’, to ‘why isn’t this here’, which, when combined with instantly recognisable background images, creates a cascading series of coincidences, dead ends and unexpected entry points into new questions.
Press release courtesy Tolarno Galleries.