Castor is pleased to announce It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine by Derek Mainella, his second exhibition with the gallery.
The exhibition title, culled from the REM song reflects the significance of a double meaning: A - of an apocalypse - the subject of much art making in our time and perhaps something that has become a bit over used and softened by Hollywood’s High Def version. B - the more complex issue of the changing world - the end as we know it and a past that will never appear again. For example, technological aids mean we will never have a day of not knowing where someone is, how to get from A to B, stumbling on an impromptu good time whilst not constantly being on call. Perhaps not even knowing what time of day it is, where to go next, or what another 10 to 1000 people are doing simultaneously.
Depending on one’s age, we might remember such simpler analogue times, but these will never exist again. There are kids who will grow up having devices their entire lives, and will never have experienced this kind of reality.
This in a way, like revolution, forms a kind of apocalypse. Not the judgement day variety but there is a sense of the eradication of the past. Indeed the world now being closer to the edge than it has been in several decades, also mirrors this sentiment in real time. Although destruction of the planet is probably not imminent, in spite of the delirious heads of state playing schoolyard bully- the world events running parallel to this are changing our reality forever. Not to mention technological platforms.
Derek Mainella’s paintings, composed in digital space, when turned physical also convey a mediated reality; figures which represent various mutations, emblematic forms of a new or projected reality rising from said destruction.
Appropriately designed through the prod and swipe of a digital interface, then rendered ‘in the flesh’ on canvas, the notion of ‘drawing’ reappears in the act of transposition, then the traditional hand of the artist in the act of painting; while also usurping such tactile modernist elements as slices and color fields previously uncontaminated by a connection to any kind of human image.
In Mainella’s paintings we see figures engaged in an inner world as both reaction to overwhelming changes or an escape from it. Mirroring the piped in visual noise of modern life, Mainella channels disparate sources from classic cartoons, digital advertising, product placement, b movie kitch. Are we viewing a painterly take on our reality or an A.I representation of it, are these figures seemingly stoic disposition simply a method of control?
‘It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine’