James Petrucci’s practice explores concepts of archetype and mediated image, focusing in particular on representations of youth.
Employing source images found in the mass media Petrucci’s works appropriate the visual language of stereotype in order to question notions of superficial judgement. By using such images his portraits aim to provoke dialogue around the veracity of the photographic source.
Nietzsche speaks of challenging idols or dominant images by ‘sounding’ them out, or ‘playing upon them’ like musical instruments. In a similar way, Petrucci’s paintings intend to play upon established archetypes of youth as often presented by the media.
Reminiscent of domestic portraits, mug shots and media images the vigorous painterly gestures disrupt the photographic source. Fluid brushstrokes obscure the identities of the subjects detaching them from the specific media generated narrative and connotations of the original photograph.
The smeared marks imbue the paintings with a sense of loss and melancholy whilst the vacant eyes invite the viewer to relate to and even occupy these habitable bodies. Each of these vacant beings suggests a myriad of possibilities creating the air of a memento both joyful and poignant.
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