Toby Curtis, Zap Graffiti, until 2nd October, free
Let me try and give a better explanation than I have in the past about what colour does for me.
Colour is the artistic element which produces the most butterflies in my stomach. When I find a colour that I really like I want to wrap myself up in it, possess it, like a blanket.
Colour is so tied to emotion. Not just for me of course, although some people don’t understand this. I am mystified by people who see abstract works as “meaningless”, when a colour can say so much. Colour choice can make or break pieces. An early Messy Lines post waxed lyrical about Harmony in Red – which was originally blue. I’m certain I wouldn’t feel the same about it if that’s how it’d stayed.
It’s not just about bold colours, either. Show me a scene of the dullest winter day and if the colours are right, all of the above should still apply.
Colour played strongly at Toby Curtis’ Zap Graffiti show. In some ways they’re pretty ordinary squares (or sometimes split levels) of modishly diverse brushstrokes. But they’re lifted by where the colours take me. The series in pink at the back captures a dreamish place I want to be today. The particular tones of the darker colours makes them more than just serious, implies a level of mysteriousness.
My admiration isn’t consistent across every painting, but when it does hit it’s lovely.
I wonder what they’ll do for you?