The “Statue Paintings”, 2019 leave behind Crews-Chubb’s previous mythological and anthropological character-based references. By focusing more specifically on sculptural stances and their plastic possibilities within painting, Crews-Chubb still provides loose figurative structures from which to explore abstract mark making. A recent realisation that so much of his primary influence derives from sculpture of the past has led him to re-examine his source material and how that translates into painting.
Rarely making use of brushes, Crews-Chubb applies paint with his hands using it like clay, building up layered areas of thick impasto juxtaposed with gestural, almost cave-like, drawing. Clothing, linen and canvas, old and new, are stuck on and ripped off with relative abandon, drawn over with charcoal, scraped, and dyed. Corrections are brutal, recast on top of past imagery in order to edit and proceed quickly, retaining spontaneity in the development of his ideas and creating the overall patina, the architecture of which if dissected would reveal the numerous iterations, thoughts and actions that led to the final state of rest.
The works presented take the acrobat as the base image, a character from the artist’s on-going personal lexicon which has appeared in previous works such as "Voynich, Belfie and the Acrobats", 2016 and "Rituals (Bumba and Belfie Pink)", 2017. The inspiration initially came from pre-Columbian sculptures Crews-Chubb saw of acrobats when in Mexico and more recently from yoga poses on Instagram. Whereas previously his mind was buzzing with the stories and mythological fantasy of his characters, in these paintings he is looking for a universal resonance or at least his imagination of such. The figures in the “Statue Paintings” demonstrate no specific gender or ethnicity and while they reference culture - they are devoid of specific cultural identity.
These paintings embody a search for the authentic, the raw and the unrefined, whilst triggering displaced memory through reference to historical figurative parallels and paying homage to the artist’s inspiration both in terms of art and artefact.
Daniel Crews-Chubb was born 1984 in Northampton and lives and works in London. He completed the Painters Studio Programme at Turps Art School in 2013, having previously received his BA from Chelsea College of Arts in 2009. His work is in public and private international institutions and collections including Denver Art Museum, the Bunker Art Space in West Palm Beach, the Saatchi Gallery and the Hall Foundation in New York. He has had notable exhibitions with Vigo Gallery, Saatchi Gallery, Roberts Projects in Los Angeles, Galerist in Istanbul and artist residencies in Bali, Los Angeles, Denver and Istanbul.