Vol 41(4) - 39 Levels of Luxury
The man in the foreground is gazing into the empty shell of a construction project destined to be transformed into a luxury apartment complex. Beside him, a pink-coloured industrial skip brims with builders’ waste.
The solitary figure could be the artist himself, Christopher McVinish, but we can only speculate. Instead we are invited into an alternate reality, transformed from the urban commonplace by an elegant vision, suggesting potential tinged with – perhaps even a sense of – loss. His ambiguous scenarios focus on aspects of everyday life, elevating it to a special plane.
If McVinish’s paintings imply a vague feeling of disquiet, or even loss, they are inhabited by survivors, thinkers and observers, suggesting a separate, reflective interior life where time feels suspended. His visual stories depict contemporary life like a kind of half-remembered dream that lingers in the mind.
The Brisbane-born artist lives and works in the Blue Mountains. He has held more than 30 Australian solo exhibitions and participated in numerous other exhibitions nationwide, as well as in Florida and California.
‘I have drawn on the past as well as the present in my quest to find meaning in the mundane,’ says McVinish. ‘I intend … to provoke a narrative in the imagination of the viewer and in doing so enable the viewer to exist temporarily in someone else’s world – as if suddenly transported to a place where other lives exist and time has been suspended.
‘I want my paintings to have an air of expectancy and strangeness – these are places where something has just happened or is about to happen.’ ‘I think of it like hitting the pause button while watching a movie. In a memorable movie the images remain with you long after the film has finished.’