James Guppy’s recent acrylic paintings on fabric, juxtaposing floral arrangements and contemporary businessmen, play with “the history of paint and value.” The artist showed his recent body of work in a run at Jan Murphy Gallery, titled “The Venal Garden.” Though absurdist initially in appearance, the works have a specific historical consideration.
“Contemporary capitalism has its roots in Holland and Britain during this period,” the artist said about the series. “The Tulip hysteria of this time was the first modern economic bubble and the tulip bulbs created the first “futures market”. One of the great outcomes of this economic frenzy are the Dutch Baroque paintings. Without this boom we would probably not have the works of artists such as Vermeer, Rembrandt, Artemesia Gentilleschi, Willem van Aelst or Rachel Ruysch.”
See more of Guppy’s recent paintings below.