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Geoff McFetridge: Meditallucination

Work / Art

Art: Astonishingly beautiful unseen paintings in a fantastic new show by the brilliant Geoff McFetridge

In the same way that you spend your days wishing your favourite band will bring their new album out, me and the other Geoff McFetridge fans spend our days subconsciously crossing our fingers for a batch of new work. Well, here it is, and guess what? It’s glorious. You’ve probably been reading about Geoff’s work for the designs featured in Spike Jonze’s Her of late, but that’s not all he’s been beavering away at. As of tomorrow, Geoff’s new paintings are on show at V1 Gallery in Copenhagen in a show entitled Meditallucination – a term coined by Geoff himself. He told us a bit more about the concept behind this new body of work.

“Meditations, in that they are a bit like listening to the world around you, using the noise to find an inner silence and peace that connects you to a deeper state of consciousness. Hallucinations, in that they are made of the raw material of our visual cortex, beyond being found images they are nearly hard-wired into our minds. There are portions of our brain (visual cortex) that view patterns, read language, and make connections to discern depth. Skills that are essential to being a human. I feel this work is about crossing those wires.”

And cross those wires he does. This work, much like the other similar paintings he’s created of late, challenge us to look beyond trivial scenes – a shadow cast on steps, human beings from above, the shape of a hand behind a glass of water – and see them as a kind of magic. Incredibly, as we discovered in an interview with Geoff in Printed Pages, a lot of the time he actually just works from sketches and the images in his mind, rather than from life. What I love most about this new work is his introduction to painting the works directly onto canvas as if they were on a page, like you’re flicking through a book and each work is a moment in that novel rather than being a story in its own right.

“The idea is to make image-based work that lies between image and language. So that your visual cortex ‘reads’ these more as language, rather than seeing them as spacial or physical things. A way to induce a misfiring of your mind to create a connection, and manipulate the viewer in a way that creates a sort of resonance.

“The hand that is split is really a diagram of this. You complete the image in your head, a bit like a puzzle. Placing this image on the ‘book’ reduces this icon to a beyond-flat state, a bit more like a letter than a hand.”

See Geoff’s new work on show at V1 Gallery in Copenhagen from 21 March – 26 April 2014.

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Geoff McFetridge: Meditallucination