“Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.” — Oscar Wilde
In a show that features paintings of gluttonous, fleshy humans alongside interior scenes of decadence gone awry, Fu Lei and Dane Patterson convey artistic visions of excess. Currently on view at Singapore’s Art Plural Gallery, “Excess” presents the two artists and their hyperbolic visualizations of too much of a good thing.
Beijing-based artist Fu Lei creates extremely portly, unforgiving images of nudes, shown individually and in pairs, often in embrace. Without visible heads or faces, the corpulent forms are either found surrounded by nature—giant blossoms and flowers, flamingos, snails, and fruits—or in opulent bedrooms with their ankles tied to bed posts. Precise in skill and wit, Lei’s images are universally legible criticisms of excessive consumption and desire.
Similarly interested in the human tendency to indulge, Patterson focuses on materialism, creating domestic scenes with an excess of objects in disarray or focusing on individual figures and replacing their heads with piles of objects. He describes the disturbing tone he achieves in works like Kitchen Arrangement: “The act of repositioning the familiar reads as an act of violence or at least the evidence of such. A toaster is designed to rest on a surface in a particular manner, and when placed on its side it reads to us as an error.” Patterson is the perfect complement for Lei—less whimsical yet equally critical he offers valuable intuition and accomplished hyperrealism.
Images courtesy Art Plural Gallery:
Fu Lei, Paradise No. 7, 2013, Oil on canvas, 250 x 200 cm
Dane Patterson, Dining Arrangement #2, 2013, Graphite on paper, 54.6 x 36.8 cm