'Imagicons' and 'Life Work'
Press Release: For Immediate Release 07.04.06
Opening 20th April 5.30pm - 11th May
ROAR! gallery 55 Abel Smith St,
Above Real Groovy, Wellington
Wed 11-5, Thurs 11-6, Fri 11-5, Sat 11-5
‘Imagicons’ Life-size paintings by Gary
Explore a personal mythological world.
‘Life Work’ New works on paper by Sue
Investigate the human form.
‘Imagicons’represent a lifetime of thinking, reading, practising and invention for Gary Humffreys. He began taking his painting seriously eighteen years ago, when he bought his first set of oil paints. As part of his research previous to this he had devoured every single art book in the libraries of Invercargill and Christchurch, his home towns. His investigation into many styles and periods has resulted in a truly unique and fantastical vision.
Humffreys describes his work as a combination of real world social commentary and dream or nightmare characters;
“I wanna rip apart the world and find all the dark recesses and hidden things. I like conspiracy theories and finding out the dark secret so when I paint the real world I like to have those things exposed as well. Beast motifs speak of the human subconscious and base impulses.”
Humffreys work presents a post-modern world where real events like the destruction of the twin towers occupy the same canvas as towering mummified women and ancient symbols on sculptures of rams. We gaze upon a world which mirrors our own in all its chaos and rich symbolism.
“They are all just images. Is there a central truth or not?”
Humffreys paints on a grand scale, creating works which employ various icons of the great religions and popular culture. Life-size figures are adorned with pharaoh garb and stretch out the arms of Shiva, cross legged in the grey metals of an industrialized world. Humffreys work forms a personal quest to make sense out a modern world in which so many truths have left us wondering if there is any central one at all. His solution is to create his own mythology;
“The world is a big place and everything has been explored but there is still great mystery of the mind and of the heart. We have gods handed down to us and I’m more interested in making my own gods.”