ARTIST PROFILE

Sean Molloy

  • United Kingdom (b. 1964)
  • Currently in Dublin, Ireland.

CONTACT & LINKS

ARTIST STATEMENT

As a painter, my key concern is to investigate the relevance of painting in a digitally-mediated world. This body of work has been constructed by a process of experimentation with a series of traditional baroque-inspired themes, spliced together with over-painted elements associated with digital-based imagery. The traditional elements have been appropriated from sources within the Dutch, Spanish, Flemish and Italian baroque painting canon, combined and juxtaposed to create a series of miniature tondo portraits and capriccio-type fantasy landscapes. The digital-inspired elements overlaying the traditional subject matter reference a variety of sources (C.G.I., games, image manipulation software, glitch-art, etc.).

'Pentimenti' refers to the underlying drawing, the choices and corrections that the artist makes while developing the composition, correcting areas by painting over them, discovered years sometimes centuries later revealing themselves to the modern viewer by the fading top layer of paint, 'Pentimenti' can also reveal when the painter's original work has been corrected, often in response to socio-political, moral or fashion imperatives – or simply through complacent restoration. Thus the 'definitive' (often canonical) work reveals itself as something which is not a solid given, but the outcome of a fluid, changing dynamic. In today's world, there is also a certain impermanence to digital images – we can alter and manipulate them as often as we wish which gives them a certain malleable quality.

My initial access to most of my reference material examined in these works is via the internet. With the assistance of a Thomas Dammann Jr. Memorial Trust Award, I was able to travel to see some of the most important works from the baroque canon in situ. This offered me the opportunity not just to examine the works up close, but also to make mental comparisons between the digital versions and the original works ‒ a process of analysis, deconstruction and de-composition which I then mapped on to the actual making of the paintings.

In the sometimes ludicrous extremes of the high baroque (e.g., Pietro da Cortona), viewers were offered an illusion of total immersion in a painted world – echoing the immersive experience presented at any moment today through a variety of digital portals. In these works, I seek to create what I term 'Neo-Pentimenti' – digital corrections, alterations, interventions and degradings/decompositions combined with the underlying traditional imagery. By using the over-painted elements to disturb the three-dimensional painterly illusion created by the brush-stroke, my aim is to introduce visual interventions which both repel and attract the viewer's attention, creating a new aesthetic, one that subverts the often didactic and singular reading that traditional figurative painting presents.








BIOGRAPHY

EDUCATION

2011 – 2013   MFA National College of Art & Design (NCAD)

2008- 2011   BA (Hons) 1st class Fine Art Painting NCAD Dublin

1999- 2000 Glasgow School of Art Fine Art Painting

1998- 1999   University of Brighton Fine Art Painting


RESIDENCIES


2017 Artist in Residence Cloverhill Prison (Arts Council funded Visual Artists in Prison Scheme)

2016 Artist in Residence Cloverhill Prison (Arts Council funded Visual Artists in Prison Scheme)

AWARDS


2017RHA studio residency  Jan 27th - July 27th

2016    Fingal County Council Artist's Support Scheme bursary
2016    Thomas Dammann jr. Memorial Trust Award

2015    Thomas Dammann jr. Memorial Trust Award

2014     K&M Evans Painting Prize (184th RHA Annual Exhibition)

2013     Longlisted for Saatchi New Sensations Prize http://www.saatchiart.com/Molloy

Art Fairs

2017   CONTEXT New York, with Gibbons & Nicholas, May 3rd - 7th

2016   CONTEXT New York, with Gibbons & Nicholas, May 3rd - 8th

BIBLIOGRAPHY

2015

http://www.irishtimes.com/search/search-7.1213540?article=true&tag_person=Sean%2BMolloy

http://www.irishartsreview.com/decompositions-by-sean-molloy/

‘Widen the circle’ The RHA’s 185th Annual exhibition, by Christín Leach Hughes, Culture Magazine, Sunday Times, 7th June 2015

2014

http://cargocollective.com/search/Lacuna

 Lacuna (01)

2013

https://painttube.wordpress.com/category/paintings-as-they-are/ November 2013
‘Top Drawer’ The RHA’s 183rd Annual exhibition, by Christín Leach Hughes, Culture Magazine, Sunday Times, 9th June 2013

 

2011

‘The Post-Modern Advance’, by Gerry Walker, Irish Arts Review, vol. 28 No. 3, September – November 2011 http://seanmolloy.ie/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Irish-Arts-Review-2011-for-webpage2.jpg

‘Mind the paintwork’, by Christín Leach, Culture Magazine, Sunday Times, Sunday 24th June 2011

‘A challenging, fresh take on a battered world’, by Aidan Dunne, The Irish Times, Friday 17th June 2011