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Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 122cm(H) x 91.5cm(W) / 48.0"(H) x 36.0"(W)
Note: Actual colours may vary due to photography & computer settings.
Gerald Tay consistently deals with the idea of masks and facades - the idea that facial features are a stage for emotions and distorted intentions. Quoting Gertrude Stein on a description of Picasso in 1959, he read about a child seeing the face of his or her mother “in a completely different way than other people see it. The child sees it from very near, it is a large face for the eyes of a small one…the child sees a part of the face of its mother, it knows one feature and not another, one side and not the other.” This microscopic analysis of segments of the face led to Gerald distorting his usual mask motifs, blowing facial features out of proportion within the frame of the painting in order to create multiple perspectives and spatial depth rather than a flat surface. Parts of the painting were rendered at a different pace, at times in quick successions of brush strokes and others with a more controlled hand. What emerged was ultimately a foundation for the perception of many images, whether relating to familiar shapes of the eyes or mouth, the botanical quality of flora and fauna enhanced by colour, or a much more abstracted form of geometry.
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Based in: Singapore
Gerald Tay organises pictorial space through intentional stacking and overlapping of figures and forms. He returns, each time, to the motif of the mask as a representation of power dynamics - referencing facades, multiple and ever-changing personas. Drawing parallels to the historical act of portraiture, where status and respect are accorded to the subjects of a portrait, he questions the observer versus the observed and the various hierarchies that we inhabit.
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