On Friday, Andy Quilty’s second solo exhibition, ‘Red Led’, was launched. Having attended his first solo display, ‘The Fear’ in February, I was eager to view his new works.
With a swag of awards to his name, Andy has garnered acclaim and a strong following for his highly original ball-point pen portraits. Inside the intimate space at 140 William, the young and the old jostled shoulders; gazing at the twenty-six pieces that utilize the humble blue biro.
A critique of masculinity and gender-specific behaviour, his inspiration is described as: ‘If the beers run out how can we relate? The camping trip is a blokes-only affair; all that is required for success is good surf and an endless supply of beer. The environment is rugged, 4WD access only. Out here we can feel like men, confident, strong and wild. Drunk on cheap beer and our own untamed maleness, a sense of camaraderie is achieved. More than any feat of bravado in the water, the ability to endlessly ‘smash piss’ is the sign of a true lad. Intoxication the only catalyst upon which a bond can be acknowledged.’
Andy’s exploration of social issues makes his work engaging on many levels – whether you admire his stylistic approach, react to the intensity present in his portraiture or appreciate the deeper philosophical comments churning beneath the imagery, his work is well liked by a wide audience.
The emotion and tension visible throughout his crosshatched creations was evocative, provoking reactions from viewers not only aesthetically, but by digging deeper into the human psyche.
Humourous titles such as ‘Vomit Bomb’, ‘Shitfight’, ‘Beer Bong’ ‘and ‘The Bigdog’ contributed to the macho subjects of the works.
Whether the precision evident in the images of babies wearing Star Wars-esque helmets or the frenzied appearance of the adult profiles are more to your taste, all the works demonstrated the signature style Andy has cultivated over the past four years since honing his fine art practice.
‘Red Led’ is open for viewing from Wednesday to Sunday 10am-5pm until June 7.
By Lisa Morrison.