About Having previously focused on portraits and landspaces, respectively, Mike Silva's latest series of paintings now brings together these two territories, creating disrupted-yet-elegant narratives which fix the process of looking on a deliberately slow motion setting. Intially exploring a strict, grid-like system in which to assemble the various components of each painting, Silva then abandoned this for a more spontaneous approach, finding endless exciting possibilities in these much looser arrangements.
References for the paintings were sourced from Silva's vast archive of personal and mass media images accumulated over the years: a mix of photographs taken by the artist, as well as pictures torn from magazines and newspapers or grabbed then printed off the internet. 21st century Somalian pirates, rock stars and 1960s radicals now nestle atop, alongside or underneath rarely-scrutinized London locations, porn stills and refugees, creating a pleasing confusion.
Chosen intuitively, then reworked through the medium of oil paint, these images - juxtaposed, cropped, overlapped, with surfaces dragged or partially scraped away and colours sensuously muted - explore fresh ways to paint skin, buildings, trees and clothing, allowing for a sense of recognition but also ambiguity. The new works confirm Silva's confident and formalist approach to painting, while quietly enabling a wealth of potential interpretations and emotional responses.