Traces of America in Welsh Artist Neale Howells’ Profuse Paintings
Harvesting text and images from the Internet, television, and print media, Neale Howells creates large paintings that resemble both the unplanned accumulation of graffiti on urban surfaces and the controlled chaos of Jackson Pollock's splatter-painted works. Though disorderly on first look, his works contain an internal logic and sense of composition. In Statue of Obesity (2012), a stencil of Uncle Sam repeats in the upper right and bottom left of the composition, providing a foundation for the rest of the canvas. Scrawled on its worked-over surface, words and snippets of phrases suggest a conversation or thought cut short: “Should we stop pretending,” “Not sure,” “Justice.” This juxtaposition—between structure and instability—reflects the artist's method of processing visual information. Images gradually become more coherent as he obsessively reworks them, while others remain raw, seemingly unfinished.
Welsh, b. 1965, Wales, United Kingdom, based in Wales