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Adrian Caon

"carbone II" - coal Mixed media on paper, 2017 61x61 cm framed $300
"carbone III" - formaldehyde Mixed media on paper, 2017 61 x 61 framed $300
"carbone V" - ethanol Mixed media on paper, 2017 61x61 cm framed $300
"carbone VII" - cellulose Mixed media on paper, 2017 61 x 61 framed $300
"carbone VIII" - ether Mixed media on paper, 2017 61x61 cm framed $300
"carbone I" - charcoal Mixed media on paper, 2017 61 x 61 framed sold

Above:

a collection of mixed media drawings that focus on the element of life and some of its close relatives, i.e. compounds.

The works are autobiographical and reveal an ongoing fascination with a once hip branch of science. I nearly became an organic chemist, but was turned off by the bad smells and the laboratory accidents!

Even today film and darkroom chemistry are the main part of my photography practice.

Sometimes humorous and other times provocative, but always playful, the drawings present personal experiences ... life adventures, misdemeanors, and concerns with certain socio-political issues.

A great read, "The Periodic Table" by Primo Levi, is the literary inspiration.

 

Below:

Sahid Beach Villa Resort on the island of Lombok was largely abandoned in the late 1990's after an Asian economic crisis.

The encroaching jungle, a pack of wild dogs and an occasional squatter were the only occupants I encountered there several years ago.

I recorded images on Ilford Delta 400 film with a Canon A1 SLR camera and printed the black and white images onto Ilford fibre-based photographic paper. Later I picked out particular objects or parts to hand colour with transparent oil paints.

The photographs speak of the opportunistic and fickle nature of the tourism arm of the global economy.

"ample storage space" silver photograph, oil 2018 55 x 45 framed $240
"minor problem" silver photograph, oil 2018 55 x 45 framed $240
"flow through ventilation" silver photograph, 2014 45 x 55 framed $240
"complimentary slippers" silver photograph, oil 2018 55 x 45 framed $240
"garden views" silver photograph, oil 2018 55 x 45 framed $240

 

Below:

This photographic series consists of silver images of Dayak sculptures and masks from antique shops in Sarawak, Borneo, placed alongside those of store mannequins in Adelaide, Australia. The diptyches invite the viewer to make comparisons that are essentially anthropological.

The two types of objects are cultural icons from very different societies. One society is old, primitive and all but extinct; the other is contemporary, global, technologically sophisticated but increasingly compromising life on earth. The wooden sculptures and masks represented spirits as part of religious and magic practices, while the mannequins represent the part of our rampant consumer culture concerned with idealized beauty and prolongation of youth. Although obviously different, these functions may point to similarities operating at a deeper personal level, e.g. the uniquely human realization of mortality and the ways of dealing with associated anxieties.

Ironically, the tribal objects have been transformed into valuable exotic commodities of the global art market.