27 Jun 2007

William Betts - surveillance paintings

Last Seen: 12:01:33, 2006, 39.25 x 60 inches, acrylic on canvas

Corner, 2007, 40 x 54 inches, acrylic paint on canvas

Terminal, 2006, 40x56 inches, acrylic paint on canvas

Front Door, 2006, 40x54 inches, acrylic on canvas

I rather like this guy. It is impossible not to be reminded the sheer determination of a Seurat or Signac working in the purest pointillist style. I think it was rather more than determination that made this artist paint this big canvases pixel by pixel. The subject matter itself - CCTV pictures - shows two aspects of contemporary life: the surveillance society (which some people compare to Orwell's 1984, although I don't think it's that bad yet) and the absolute routine of living in the city. Nothing happens in the paintings above, although I am sure the artist could have chosen - if he wanted to - pictures from America's Most Wanted, or Wildest Police Videos. The artist wanted to be, probably, more like Seurat with his afternoons in the park and bathers on the banks of the Seine.

Who knows, should there have been CCTV at the the time Seurat lived, he would have marked his Grande Jatte with a time-code. (Mig)

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