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Reverie by Chris Moon Curated by John-Paul Pryor at LONDONEWCASTLE Project Space
Chris Moon, Untitled 3.

LONDON.- In his second solo exhibition Reverie, celebrated artist Chris Moon invites the viewer to explore his psychological dreamtime – a twilight world of illusion and perception that offers a unique glimpse into his creative process via a radical celebration of paint and its transformative power.

This exploration encourages us to question how we might consider a final painting differently if only we could examine the source material, see the stimuli, and extrapolate the painter’s emotional and technical perspective.

Moon bravely and honestly unveils and de-mystifies an artist’s working process, taking the viewer on an emotional and enlightening voyage into the arena of his visions and dreams. Paint, the very lifeblood of his craft, gives him the power to produce incredible images of incandescent intensity. From original images to the final brushstroke Moon demands that we bear witness as his imagination takes flight. It is a journey without a definable end-point – an emotional dialogue if you will, between the self, the medium and the tool, to create new forms in a potentially infinite conceptual and physical process.

The exhibition is housed in the vast white gallery spaces of LONDONEWCASTLE and the narrative begins with a series of initial images that could be mistaken for a box of snapshots. Nostalgic in feel, the show is a candid photo album translated into paint, capturing people, places, moments from the artist’s past and present. These paintings allow us to see what first inspires Moon and they compel us to follow him on this journey.

The work can be biographical or arbitrarily taken from everyday stimuli, however the emotionally charged picture of his Mother from the 1970s and the sleeping sun-bathing stranger merit special mention. In all his paintings, Moon’s technique and brushwork are assured and his use of the paint is a delight as his hand and brush seem to dance to the power of his imagination.

To each of these sources of inspiration he applies the same process to create an interplay that draws history and memory into the abstracted present. Moon deftly re-invents the original image or scene skilfully using subtle explosions of colour to illustrate the journey from conception to completion. Some of the artist’s largest scale work to date is presented in the final room at Londonewcastle, as the narrative descends into unadulterated daydream, providing an invitation to walk a path from reality into the arena of his dreams.

Chris Moon is a self-taught East London-based outsider painter whose abstract work recalls the intensity of Francis Bacon in its stretching of anonymous human forms into the endless void of the canvas. However, although his work tips a nod to the mutilated beauty made famous by his forbear, he has simply come to the same visual conclusions via a personal process of destruction and reinvention. In what he refers to as a quest for the containment of powerful emotion, Moon captures the uneasy, haunting chaos of shifting identity – inviting the viewer to see their own image in faceless, lonely figures that haunt the void of his landscapes.

John-Paul Pryor is a writer, filmmaker and curator based in London. He is both former curator of The Dazed Gallery and Arts & Culture editor of Dazed & Confused online. He is currently contributing Arts Editor at AnOther Magazine and Editor-at-Large at Port Magazine. John-Paul has curated exhibitions at galleries internationally including The Dazed Gallery London and The GRN'Namdi Gallery, Chicago.

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