Michael Taylor | Save The Date

‘Save The Date’, a 2022 solo show by Michael Taylor

August 25 – September 10

Opening event | Saturday 27th, 2 – 4pm, RSVP below

Michael Taylor mimics the immediate and expansive nature of the drawing process in order to develop scenes and characters in his painted work. Removed from its purely observational qualities, drawing becomes a projection of the artist’s intuition, imagination and memory. Representational and figurative elements in Taylor’s paintings create narrative frameworks that are unravelled to varying degrees through abstract marking. Michael Taylor (b. 1979) lives and works in Cape Town. He graduated with a Master of Fine Arts from Stellenbosch University and has since exhibited in solo and group shows in South Africa, Australia, The Netherlands, UK and USA. He was shortlisted in the Thames & Hudson’s 100 Young Painters of Tomorrow in 2013 and his work is held in numerous private collections globally, including the Woodner Collection (USA).

Michael Taylor | Save The Date

The works for ‘Save the Date’ comprise of imaginary characters in imagined situations and settings. For this series I wanted to focus on the theme of memorability. In making these paintings on paper I wanted to think about what makes an image memorable to the viewer and also what makes it memorable to me as the artist. Both through the process of making it and through the development of a visual narrative. In terms of the images themselves, and their stories, I want the characters to express in some way, the notion of something being memorable. And because the characters and narratives are imaginary it allows me the freedom to exaggerate and include visual metaphors, making it easier to represent something so subjective. The title of the show, ‘Save the Date’, not only refers to the idea of a reminder, but also to something being remembered. It’s about a moment that stands out and the possibility of it leaving a mark, be memorable.

The majority of works from the ‘Save the Date’ series depict pairs of characters or groups of three characters. What’s interesting to me about this choice is that a dialogue is created between two or three different personalities and the possibility to create narratives through the contrasting or complementary natures of these figures. The work ‘Field Trip’ depicts two friends on an outing. They’re portrayed hanging, playing, showing the surprise and excitement of how their worlds have been turned upside down.’There’s Something About the Village Idiot’ talks of the realisation that you’ve fallen for the outsider. It’s interesting to make a picture about such a secret fascination or hidden desire. The characters depicted in ‘Stop and Dance’ for a moment let go of their inhibitions. The idea of dancing in the rain always seems like such a simplistic, natural way to be in the moment. ‘Ghoul Gala’ is all about being something else for a short moment in time. How does a dress up party create a space where we can express ourselves through fiction or something a little bit more daring? Similarly, the two characters in ‘Crowd Favourites’ expressive their confidence through dress and attitude. In ‘Desperately Seeking’ two male figures are out in the wild searching for someone or something. Their outfits telling us that they’re anticipating the reunion to be something remarkable. ‘The Unstoppable Photobomber’ takes us to a party where a larger than life character seems to be the only memorable part of the occasion. But is that a good thing? ‘Occasional Chairs’ portrays three designers in their studio confused by the objects around them and what their place will be. ‘Mary Mary Mary’ depicts three sisters on a weekend outing to the fair. They seem fairly unimpressed with what’s going on around them. Will something memorable eventually happen or is it a case of wrong place at the wrong time? We move on to the single portraits. ‘The Last Remaining Fruit’ is a fantastical depiction of an eccentric character stuck in the middle of nowhere. He sits in an uncomfortable manner but the smile on his face tells us that he is content to be on his own with very little left and very little to worry about. ‘The Quick Serenader’ is a real charmer. His job as a call-out entertainer is to create memorable moments for others. Lastly, ‘Catch of the Day’ showing the pride of a captain and his ship. He carries it around like the memories they’ve made together.

Gallery open
Monday – Friday | 9am – 5pm
Saturday | 10am – 4pm
Sunday | Closed

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