These otherwise innocuous abstracts give way to a complex and fraught inner emotional life.
Our internal emotional adventures can be just as compelling as our real world external physical excursions; our mental life predates the multiverse by some two hundred thousand years.
Traversing our own consciousness can be just as difficult as traversing a crowded room of strangers: ultimately we are strangers even to ourselves, which makes the possibility of social contact even more anxiety inducing.
What if we say or do something thats off colour or misses the mark? The dream state is much the same, the images that appear before us have a life of their own, sometimes happy sometimes sad, sometimes deeply disturbing or awe inducing.
Ru Knox through experimenting hypnagogic and hypnopompic states captures the fraught and fickle nature of the human dream state in a way thats positively Freudian, shapes melt into one another, the mind drifts in an out of consciousness, what was once obscured , distant and cloudy suddenly without one noticing it becomes vivid, crystal clear. In our dreams we smell smells we have never smelt before, hear songs we’ve never heard before. Everything makes sense if only for an instant: More real than reality itself.
Rupert Knox was baptised in classical sight size portraiture. Trained in Florence, the student eventually became the teacher, however, ultimately he turned away from the faith and towards the dark arts of abstraction, but he could never quite leave his past behind him. In every brush stroke and ink stain there is the reflection of one of the great italian masters; if Vassari was alive today surely Rupert Knox would have featured in his catalogue of what at the time was a very contemporary renaissance. His ability to harmonise the rhythm of life; at once a party and a solitary journey, is akin to flatmates with opposing personalities forced to live with one another out of necessity, who suddenly realise they have friends in common.
Rupert’s eschews overt intellectualism in favour of an innate form of mentalism; what have might in times long past been ascribed to spiritualism, has now thanks to psychology and a deeply modern understanding of the the human mind been ascribed to science. More natural than nature itself. Our dreams are the only things in that belong solely to ourselves, we cannot share them, we strive desperately to communicate them, be it in song, in pictures, or even in the formation of movements, but no one, despite how hard we try will ever see things exactly as we do. We might recant to our partner exactly what happened when we awake, but no sooner as we can explain the once tangible and graspable becomes as hard to hold as sand or smoke.
His works are expeditions into our common and universal subconscious, these are moments and experiences which we share, but cannot be shared. They take us back to the origin of the importance of paint as a medium; as a methodology of communication: paint as a pen, artist as storyteller, mystic, and sage.
After what has for all of us been a traumatic year, I urge you to leave your houses, brave the cold and the rain and venture out into the unknown to see this enfant terrible of contemporary art - classical trained but contemporarily educated, R. Knox holds up a obfuscated lease to our time showing it in all its thick and muggy glory.