Go Figure!

Go Figure!
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Go Figure!’
21 July – 03 August 2022.
Daniel Raphael Gallery
98 Curtain Rd

Daniel Raphael Gallery is pleased to present Go Figure!, curated by Brad Keats, an exhibition showcasing 11 international artists who are redefining and reinventing the figurative through the exploration of their culture heritage, past memories and pressing societal issues. Similarities are drawn across the works of Arbelaez, Nagieva and Wong as each of these talents use a contemporary lens to pay homage to their cultural roots. Wong’s Caroline, Katharine, and Alisa, (2022) is a signature example of the artist’s wildly colourful and classically-inspired portraits that embrace a refreshing dialogue around East Asian women.

Go Figure!
Anne von Freyburg
Trickster (After Fragonard, The Toilet of Venus)
(2022) Various textiles on acrylic-ink painting

In the same way that her female gaze subverts ideals, Arbelaez introduces sentiments of pre-Columbian peoples of South America whilst ratifying the 21st century identity of what it is like to be a Mestizo, Colombian, American. A sculptural storyteller, her ceramic works simultaneously manage to preserve tradition by shedding light on forgotten peoples. What is visible amongst these artists, is a sybaritic desire for fun as seen in Nagieva’s personified Nevalyashka dolls, vehicles to portray her feelings the moment the brush meets the canvas.

Go Figure!
Photo of Caroline Wong in the studio

Butler, Frederiksen and Rogers present the figurative for its communicative strength, highlighting powerful societal challenges through the use of minute details. This juxtaposition of using the small to depict the large is all the more relevant when focusing on the individual and the importance of being heard. Unlike Butler’s work that relays a stark message of civil unrest, Frederiksen’s embroidered cartoon narratives are initially childish in their aesthetic. Yet, as one analyses their significance, it is clear that behind the artist’s playful pastel threads lies a darker view of life, one that balances between a fine line of danger, life and death.

Go Figure!
Peter Frederiksen, Willful ignorance, 2022,
Freemotion machine embroidery on linen, 20 x 25 cm

Portraying the figurative through textiles can come in many other forms as with Anne von Freyburg’s Trickster (After Fragonard, the Toilet of Venus) (2022) whereby hand-stitched fabrics are layered on top of acrylic ink underlay paintings. The absolute over-indulgence in these works references the excesses of throwaway fashion, selfies and consumerism that has so wildly engrossed the developed world with a constant presence.

Go Figure!
Simon Butler, Protests Are Not Started by the People…,2022,
Mixed media-on-wooden panel, 46 x 61 cm.

In direct contrast, the likes of Murray, Štulić and Simson have concentrated on the absence of the figurative or the absence of others. Murray’s Pink Island (2022) is highly alluring as the subject’s silky dress and ruby red enamel nails pierce the viewer’s gaze. Her cropped body forces a wave of anonymity also seen in Štulić’s highly atmospheric painting of an unmade bed.

Go Figure!
Hannah Murray, Pink Island, 2022, Oil on linen, 40 x 30 cm

In the same vein of absent figures, Simson’s gesturally abstracted works employ the medium of charcoal as a means to record human experiences and memories of space. Milez on the other hand repeatedly makes reference to our everyday lives and couples in relationships that perform mundane tasks in a theatrical manner. The message for the viewer is that couples can build the foundations of intimacy, trust and companionship in even the most unassuming moments such as doing the laundry.

The show will boast 30 artworks, ranging from mediums of painting and textile to sculptural pieces. ‘Go Figure!’ opens from 21 July – 03 August 2022 in a new satellite location based in the heart of Shoreditch, U.K.

Go Figure!
Brad Keats (left), Daniel Levy (right)

Having been a collector for over 15 years and working within contemporary creative projects and advisory for the past 5, Brad Keats has a huge passion for travelling and finding the best in emerging artists. The exhibition Go Figure! marks Keats’ curatorial debut featuring artists that he has personally collected over time and developed meaningful relationships with. “Bringing them all together in London alongside – who I believe to be one of the best young emerging gallerists I have ever dealt with – is a huge privilege.”

©2022 Daniel Raphael Gallery