Gavin Nolan's recent paintings are perverse and contradictory. Disparate elements combine resolutely to form freakish portraits. The various characters develop personalities and traits. Seemingly demanding of their creator ("make me look beautiful") to the point that Nolan seems bizarrely to have gone easy on his nightmarish subjects. As in so many portraits of course, true personality cannot help but caustically seep through. His dialogue is appropriately diverse. The delicate brushwork is at odds with brutally applied splashes, swathes and scumbles. Despite this contradictory language, the rigorous glazing and twisted compositional tricks combine to harmonious effect. The paintings are discordant, disquieting and beautiful.

Copyright © Sartorial Contemporary Art 2005
Secret Sun Daze 2005
Oil on canvas