Jason Moad is a realist painter based in Melbourne, Australia. His current focus is a series of paintings that amount to a love letter to residual media —the kind you can’t download. In recent years he has found himself feeling uneasy about the rapid progress of the digital revolution. As someone who spends his days crafting objects, the increasingly ephemeral nature of our cultural artefacts troubles him. Music, literature and film aren’t just insubstantial ghosts- until very recently, they also had a concrete reality. We are tactile creatures and our experience of culture is poorer for a lack of physical connection. The feel and smell of riffling the pages of a paperback, or even flipping through the liner notes of a CD booklet (itself a poor substitute for the delights of the LP gatefold sleeve) are an integral part of the experience.
The loose narratives in the pictures that make up works in his Tangible series are often generated by the titles of the “legacy” media depicted (whether books, CD’s or DVD’s) and the key provided by the various objects with which they are juxtaposed. In No Batteries Required, a crusading King sits atop a rearing horse, valiantly defending a pile of well loved paperbacks. How useful loveable is a Kindle when it goes dead on the bus? In other instances the objects depicted, especially books, suggest the theme of the picture, not only through their titles but also their arrangement. They sometimes make use of elaborate visual-puns, a vinyl LP becomes a dark halo behind a skull for example. The themes of nostalgia inevitably evoked in these images also play out in Moad’s highly rendered paintings of children’s rides. Despite the momento mori quality of some of the pictures the work is playful as well as thought provoking.