London Portraits – Flash Gallery Munich

September 19, 2013





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Impressions of the Exhibition:



Nick Gentry began his career as an artist in London. He developed his ” London Portraits ” based on consistently technological waste products and painting to create an individual form of expression. His works are REFLECTIVE PAINTINGS which involve the viewer in a complex network of interpretation. Equally critical of society as aesthetic perception are intrinsically moments.

A kind of trademark and image fund of his works are old computer disks, known as floppy discs that were used to in the 80s as the most important media for computer data stored, pictures, programs and more. Gentry does not bring its own disks in his images to use, but people from all over the world send their media to the artist. Thus he not only developed a special model of cooperation, but it would also reduce the distance to the viewer.

The arrangement of the selected disks is depending on and according to their external appearance thus composing the nature and outline of the desired portraits, i.e. the color of the disk is primarily important. On this basis, the artist set the basic design in order by using lighter and darker disks to basic distribution of light and shade of his later compositions. Gentry then painted over his floppy discs with each one designed from the beginning portrait. The resulting London Portraits are motifs that are inspired by his walks in London, but attain a kind of universality: Beautiful people from our present.

The disks sometimes contain readable labels as KILLER VIRUS, GOLDEN AXE, UFO ENEMY UNKNOWN DISC, JUAN ‘S PHOTOS 1993 INSTALL FANTASIES. Others are more anonymous or contain computer programs. The contents remain hidden, secret, as well as portraits of people remain anonymous for both the artist and the viewer. There are images of individuals whose private life, their intimacy for us remains hidden and which we approach by Gentry’s works alone temporary and imaginary. The image of man becomes the mirror of social processes whose structures are engaged in a constant state of flux and are increasingly complex due to ever new communication media.

The London Portraits are representations based on a sampling structure that can be composed with the elements from unknown contexts to a new multi-layered context. (cf. works by John Baldessari). We see supposedly beautiful faces in the context of technological waste , information products. Disused communication media are metaphorically transmitter new artistic messages. Technology for partial medium of art. Gentry’s works tell of earlier times, show an analysis of the present and just touched ideas about the future. His next work continues on this promising path and give us more insight into the deeper mysteries of human, human – machine and society of the future.


„Maybe what separates me from other artists is the fact that I don’t often find or buy the materials I use. People willingly take part in my projects by donating their old stuff to me, I like to think it makes it a kind of social art.”

“I like the x-ray work as it focuses on the biological side of who we are and what is inside us. To look at someone else’s x-ray is to look inside someone else’s body, it’s a very personal thing.”

“I liked art as a child, I enjoyed drawing and creating things. I knew what I wanted to do with my life from an early age so I feel lucky in that respect. When you are at college you can experiment and do things without worrying too much. It was also inspiring being around other creative people.“

“It’s the artist’s job to comment on the present day. Throughout history artists have explained what was going on in a particular period. The news and other sources don’t document a moment in a soulful way like art does, concentrating on the way people are feeling at the time. With my work, I like to think I am using the past to capture the present.”


Stronger than Gentry Salgado’s paintings embodie the tradition of British portraiture, although he came to London in 2008 as Canadian. Influences by the works of Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud or Jenny Saville show that Salgado tunes its expression of the portrait in connection with the mental, emotional mood of his people. Faces are painted according to perception impression, smoothed, compacted or pointedly coloristically.

In the “Grind” is due to a distancing from the subject, the people, on the other hand is characterized also just a special individual approach that can not be explained, but is only noticeable aesthetic perception. Similar to the plein-air painters in the 19th Century, who wanted to bring the perceived in nature to the canvas and awarded according to individual conditionality the motif expression to his people Salgado approaches each with different expression moments of painting. He makes us feel something of the truth of a person, something that usually remains hidden.


“I am drawn to the artists who are the rule breakers,” Salgado states, “and I am interested in how my paintings might operate independently from their literal figurative foundation, how they might engage with an exploration of color, reduction of forms, and triumph of materiality, but still tell some kind of true–to–life story, pulling the viewer from the sutures of the represented subject to invite understandings beyond the confines of the painted picture.”


The Subconscious paintings by George Morton Clark are radical alienation Of faces and images, which usually have a negative aura, a touch of irony and sadism or an expression of anxiety and mental abyss. Morton-Clark is with his picturesquely approaches to psychological representations of people, types or cinema-heroes in search of a deeper reality, which is composed of dream imagery, fearful imagery, socio-psychological contexts or even imaginary perceptions. Painting as a psychogram of society, mirror with tormented and excruciating psyche within the human being. ..Influences of Arnulf Rainer, Jean-Michael Basquiat and Street painters show a dispute with the ‘honesty of the streets’ and the realities which are hidden behind the visible reality.


„Ever since I was small I’ve looked at paintings like movies that will never reveal their endings – stories that will go on forever; and forever be written. To appreciate art is to be at one with your thoughts and your experiences. These are what bring the art to life. And the idea that when someone looks at one of my paintings it can generate a completely different emotional experience to the next person. The power of an image lies in its near-infinitesimal interpretation.“

„But painting for me is not a choice, it’s a necessity. An integral part of me as a human being. Ever since I can remember, I have wanted to create. Each painting is a therapeutic journey, from first to final brush stroke. The start point can be something as simple as a colour or image, after which the emotions gather and quickly an initial concept crystallises. Each piece falling into place like a puzzle. But the process is fluid: the first idea can change drastically as I paint. But rather than frustrating, I find these developments are the most exciting part of the creative process. Making mistakes leads you down paths that you would otherwise never of found. This process accounts as much for style as for content and it’s why I tend not to sketch – I find I’m more creative while painting and better at manipulating the colours and image while ‘in the moment’.“

„The colour and the fall of the paint help to direct the piece as much as anything. A slight difference in tone or an unplanned paint stroke can alter the image and start a whole new game. What may at first appear to be a mistake is more often than not the painting revealing itself to me. This organic method – in part a sort of free association of ideas, colour and images – can at first seem to obscure the ‘meaning’ of the painting. But by letting my subconscious lead the creative process there is arguably a greater truth that’s revealed in the final piece. Something deeper, something that is closer to myself and the essence of artistic generation.“

Rolf Lauter