Untitled

Oil on card

Tristan Pigott

"My paintings convey how human ego is translated into image, by juxtaposing realistic painted figures before a surreal backdrop. The narcissism typically associated with portraiture is given a satirical undertone. My paintings playfully mock the importance we place on image and perception. The abstract composition of the work displays the difference between performance and reality. Alternatively, I illustrate details such as clothes and hair with realism to emphasise the importance my sitter, as well as the viewer, place in their own image.

The figurative style of my painting allows me to convey conceptual narratives with immediacy relevant to the viewer. In a recent painting, ‘Waiting Room’, the same man is pictured twice in different styles, the application of paint becoming looser as the painting recedes. The man holding a cygnet is painted in a realistic style, whilst the more abstractly painted figure holds an iPhone. These motifs, as symbols of value and culture in successive eras, accompany the developing brushwork to question the relevance of tradition in contemporary society and within the evolution of oil painting. 

The suggestion of action plays an important role in my paintings. It provokes the viewer’s interpretation, as opposed to simple objectification, of the subject within their surroundings. Allowing me to develop my interest in the cyclical nature of everyday life, a reoccurring theme in my work. Every day actions such as eating and drinking mirror similarly habitual and automated psychological traits such as arrogance and anxiety. These themes are portrayed using personal sources, playing on people’s characteristics, putting them in surreal narratives and showing the theatricality of the situation."