Lust and Introspection

16 – 29 June

Peanut Gallery presents ‘Lust & Introspection’, an exhibition of two young emerging South Australian artists. Matty Pearson paints visions and dreams of sexual encounters and domestic life. Based in rural South Australia, in this debut exhibition he explores his curiosity of the feminine and intimacy. Billy Oakley presents a series of portraits playing with ideas of disillusionment, romanticism, pontification and introspection. He explores his inner psyche through self-portraiture and portraits of others while referencing classical inspirations.

Living in the country town of Auburn in rural South Australia, Matty paints when not working on a farm. His work revolves around childhood experiences and emotions. Sexual fantasies, desires of the flesh, virginity, and a fascination with the female form inform and motivate his work. A self-taught artist with a cathartic medium at hand, he finds an escape in the expression of emotions and desires through painting.

Similarly, Billy’s inspiration comes from social encounters. His style is predominantly fauvist, with post impressionist references and a dash of romanticism for luck. His contemporary take on the work of the masters coupled with his personal style and motivations give rise to explosive energy on canvas, achieved by heavy strokes and looping colours. His refined colour palette and portrait-heavy series pinpoints his natural style, presenting a cohesive and exciting body of work. The overarching theme of disillusionment, and the balance between the internal psyche and the external world allows for a fascinating glimpse of this young artist’s mind.

Through a literal split down the middle of the gallery, (also echoed in the divisive title), a visual dialogue has been created between the works of these artists. On the one side sits LUST – presenting Matty’s curious, virginal, vulnerable pieces against INTROSPECTION – the cerebral, technically guided, psychological works of Billy. Both artists illustrate their lives and internal conflicts, providing the audience with a snapshot of romance, trial and the perils of youth.

Fruzsi Kenez