In this new body of paintings Will Ayres makes hybrid pictures which draw upon traditional forms but reinterprets them with a contemporary spin.
Inspired by the Dutch masters of the 17th and 18th centuries, these flower paintings look to explore a reimagining and reconstruction of the traditional still life.
The artist pursues a new reality. Treated as recollections the paintings explore a process of recording memory and reality in order to try and reinvent what we see. A captured moment of life which is brought back to a closer understanding of the essence and rawness of the subject.
Ayres proposes a new reading of a time-honoured genre, the floral still life. No longer are flowers a mere sub-division of decorative still life painting. The tone of these images is determined by the demands of painting, and by the authority of the artist. The subject matter becomes a pretext for seductive brushwork. Ayres employs different approaches to suit different ends. Wet into wet painting; a one colour ground with a second and third colour wiped over it; grisaille. The paint surface interferes with the image, interrupts it, and vice versa. Scattered marks, drips, fugitive smudges, tumble over the surfaces. Complex reflections and shadows spread and linger weightily. Everywhere is evidence of the activity and physicality of painting.
Reaffirming its status as a lively and innovative genre, Ayres makes gorgeously decadent, wild, disturbing yet romantic flower paintings apt for the 21st century.