Issy Wood has described her paintings as having a 'mediaeval millennial' style, referring to her combination of contemporary objects with colour palettes and subject matter evocative of classical painting, while also expanding her practice to include sculptural works. The artist often draws imagery from her surroundings, both online and offline, incorporating material from auction catalogues and snapshots.Read More
Recurring subjects in Wood's paintings include commodities traditionally associated with femininity, commonplace objects and devices, car interiors, and ornate silverware, as well as close-ups or cropped images of clothing items. Portraits of women, notably the actress and comedian Joan Rivers, and feminine bodies also abound in her paintings, drawing connections between notions of beauty and consumerism, and the fashionable and obsolete.
Wood's paintings have been compared to Surrealist works for their enigmatic compositions that evade a clear narrative. A hairbrush stands upright on the floor in All the Rage 1 (2019), which depicts an ambiguous scene that recedes into cold greys and blue, with cloud-like forms floating near the ground. To the left of the hairbrush is a pair of hands holding a gun emerging from between cowboy boots.
The scene perhaps continues in All the Rage 2 (2019), in which a feminine torso dressed in white appears to be falling—perhaps from the bullet—while a gigantic woman's hand reaches for a shoe with a dog-shaped heel. In the bottom-right corner, a miniature woman is seen lying on the ground with little explanation as to her relationship to the other bodies in the painting.
All the Rage is also the title of Wood's 2019 solo exhibition at the Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art, London that included, in addition to the eponymous paintings, installations of clothing items with her paintings on them.
A musician, Wood signed with star producer Mark Ronson's Zelig Records in 2019, subsequently releasing a single, titled 'Debt'. She has released the EPs Cries Real Tears! (2020) and If It's Any Constellation (2021) and collaborated with balloon artist David Crofts for her music video Fuss (2021).
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