Nick Hersey, Specialists in Failure
From 28th February 2015, Tarpey Gallery in Castle Donnington, Derbyshire will be showing the new exhibition by international British artist Nick Hersey. Entitled ‘Specialists in Failure’, the collection of paintings explores the current grand narrative of a market-driven neoliberal economy rampaging across our world. Using a variety of reference sources such as second hand photographs and vintage encyclopaedias.
Nicks images exploit the inherent narrative of his reference materials to play with the complex themes associated with our current economic and socio-political situation- in one piece an overweight communist block era woman gleefully exercises amid a nondescript textured abstract ground. In another, two sloppily rendered stags lock horns in a composition shared with a vaguely titillating 1950’s glamour girl torn from some period advert of unknown origin and with ambiguous purpose.
Drawing on urban techniques that influenced his childhood – Cooper/Chalfant’s Subway Art cited as one of the biggest creative influences of his style – Nicks paintings veer from classical figurative rendition to sloppily applied concrete backgrounds and the odd application of Montans spraypaint.
Nick Hersey had travelled widely over the last 15 years before settling in Derbyshire. Following time spent living in Sao Paulo, Thailand and Shanghai, Nick chose Derbyshire to settle with his family, despite hailing from Kent originally. His travels have influenced his practice, as he draws on a variety of sources and themes to inspire his graphic style- (a result of his training as an Illustrator under Brian Love at Kingston University. In the 1990’s)- Brazilian graffiti, contemporary Chinese scuptors such as Han Lei and Chen Wei, and hand drawn signage culled from road trips in rural Thailand and Brazil.