Red, White and Blue We Love You (Cliche Painting), 2010
210 cm x 190 cm
Oil, acrylic, spraypaint and mixed media on canvas
Charlie Isoe is quietly lauded as one of the finest up-and-coming talents in the art world today. The young Australian painter is a former graffiti artist, although his gallery work rarely draws upon this background. He is noted for his nomadic, pleasure-seeking lifestyle.
Isoe applies his considerable artistic endowment to masterly figurative paintings that wallow in the perverse and the provocative. If Banksy fulfils the western liberal fantasy of the self-educated artisan, Isoe is its nightmare – a naturally talented intelligence who prefers the role of brutish reveller. Protected interests are assaulted on several fronts, as Isoe blows painterly raspberries at notions of success and glamour, both present-day (Selfies) and historical (Woman with Tits after Degas). He is the final proof both of western culture's decadence, and author Zadie Smith's oft-quoted lament: "I saw the best minds of my generation accept jobs on the fringes of the entertainment industry."
"We exist in the nervous bowels of late capitalism," the artist explains. "In this age of disposable, plastic consumerism, I observe the late nights, the addiction, and the perverse. I am not a passive observer, but rather a reflexive participant where the disparate worlds of decadence and desperate necessity meet – the 'liminal' spaces – those of consumption and addiction. I see the animalistic side of human nature, and it gives scope to the contemporary human condition. We are tourists in our own lives. We often miss the bits that are real."
Charlie Isoe currently works from his studio in Berlin.