‘I Was Born Yesterday’ by Michael Taylor | A Spectacular Staged Race

The happy hour
The happy hour

 

We’re no strangers to Michael Taylor’s penchant for the seas, which has yet again provided the perfect backdrop for him to unleash a host of his fantastically imagined characters for a solo exhibition at Whatiftheworld: I Was Born Yesterday. The body of work follows the happenings (and mis-happenings) of stereotyped gentlemen tribes who come together in a spectacular staged race.

 

“I’ve always counted pictures as a kind of friend,” says Taylor, whose work investigates what it means to imagine something. His interpretations are shaped through a keen interest in the idea of selfhood, possible eccentricities, unconventional perspectives, exaggeration and awkward expression. Ultimately, he paints to understand people and the world around him better.

 

I Was Born Yesterday is presented in a series of large-scale drawings and installations of paintings – mediums which the Cape Town-based artist enjoys for their immediacy and spontaneity. The preliminary sketches that eventually gave way to each final image pervade the surface as visible traces of movement. The movement of men who, appearing theatrically in a colourful tableaux, are spread out in scenes of “nonsense rituals, uncomfortable teaming, unseemly gestures and small misadventures”. Caught in live action like this they come across as confident, youthful and eager, but their portraits indicate otherwise. In these we see Mr. June (Bartholomew), Mr. March (James the great) and so forth in another light: feature-less, devoid of certainty and described only by their shadows and ill-colouring. Seen together, the entire collection of work is an “eccentric romp, fictionalising a battle of the male egos and parodying masculine attitudes”.

 

I Was Born Yesterday opens at Whatiftheworld gallery today (3 September) and runs until 3 October.

 

Read an interview with Michael Taylor.

 

www.michaeltaylor.co.za

 

Boy meets world II
Boy meets world II
Boy meets world IV
Boy meets world IV
Ship of fools
Ship of fools
The peanut gallery
The peanut gallery
Head over heels
Head over heels
Sea legs
Sea legs
The troopers
The troopers
Good blues II
Good blues II
Goodbye ballet
Goodbye ballet
Caution to the wind
Caution to the wind
Mr. March (James the great)
Mr. March (James the great)
Mr. June (Bartholomew)
Mr. June (Bartholomew)
Mr. September (James the lesser)
Mr. September (James the lesser)
The Mission
The Mission
Beach bats I
Beach bats I
Beach bats III
Beach bats III
Beach Bats IV
Beach Bats IV

 

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