Ian Cumberland’s Reflective, Surreal Scenes

by Andy SmithPosted on

Ian Cumberland’s surreal, solitary scenes have evolved and progressed into even stranger territory, with his figures disappearing into reflective holes and taking part in bleak internalization. The Irish painter uses oils primarily, but in recent works, integrates materials like carpeting and mirrors. Cumberland was last featured on HiFructose.com here.

“The beautiful, youthful figures of Cumberland’s cast appear fixated on superficial attractiveness,” a recent statement reads. “They exude glamour but their perfection is belied by a mottled complexion and malaise. Some appear at a remove, reflected in mirrors, which have a long association in art history, not least as indicators of the illusory nature of painting itself, but also vanity, and in the mid twentieth century, psychoanalytic self-recognition. Even the surreal black holes that absorb the pictured inhabitants are mirrored, like the surface of smartphones or tablets. These scenes possess a hallucinatory stillness and are heightened by the artist’s vivid use of colour and attention to detail – in fabrics and carpets.”

Cumberland’s work has recently shown across Europe, from his native Ireland to Belfast and London. He’s a recent recipient of ACES Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

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