About Adam John Barratt
Using my knowledge of Ancient Greek fables and designing abilities, I create multimedia installations that combine craft techniques with modern interpretations of the subverted classics. With influences ranging from Ancient Greece to Victorian design, I have created set colour palettes to represent both the human form and their surroundings. Designing and creating objects based from domestic settings, are paralleled to imagery that create a dynamic between the object and the image to implicate the viewer. Combining digital renditions and analogue presentations I am able to create a uniformed platform where objecthood and imagery converse freely to create a voyeuristic, homoerotic power dynamic.
Stories from Ancient Greece fascinate me; vengeful gods filled with lust, anger and fundamental human characteristics. The fall of pagan beliefs and the rise of the Byzantine empire created the Renaissance; artists used classical stories to unleash the nude body, in doing so creating ‘Subverted Classics’. Suppressed sexuality throughout the ages contrasted with my new sexually charged renditions plays heavily in my work, by manipulating an ancient story into a flattened image, I combine the vulnerable and exposed nude amidst a childlike and naïve coloured design.
Combining fine art and graphic design I use a reduced colour palette that references propaganda posters and the Bloomsbury Group. To illustrate the male models in my work, I use yellow, red and black acting as the light, mid and dark tone, for the objects and backgrounds of my paintings I use blue, yellow, red and green, all presented on a white surface. Colour palettes are used in my work to create a uniformed structure, the tri coloured style of my figures distinguishes the men and compresses them within the image. The background structures in my paintings refer to the Victoriana style; its childlike nuances, simple yet graphic designs and childlike telly tubby colour palette contrasts the sexually charged compositions, highlighting the flattened figures.
To create installations, I combine handmade domestic objects with large paintings of nude male compositions. Using simple linear and circular designs, handsewn tapestries and furniture design, I create objects that invite the viewer. Toying with direct eye contact, the dominance of age, inter age relationships and the fetishization of the youthful, all with homoerotic and voyeuristic undertones; the image and the object converse with each other. The object is superimposed into its own golden shadow on the image, the image animates the object with voyeuristic, homoerotic power plays. Upholding the object upon a plinth invites the audience, by imagining yourself on the furniture you’re absorbed into the image, surrounded by this homoerotic and pseudo sexual environment the viewer engages with the work.
Designed wooden structures combined with; image, graphic design, hand crafted items, tapestries occupy the space. The white negative space draws focus to the decorated surface of the timber structure, the objects imposed on the viewer creates empathy for the models struggling for power in the image parallel. Designed at a sixty degree angle, the audience encounters slanted objects, their ambiguity intrigues the viewer and draws attention to the image. By installing an object opposed to an image I am allowing myself to create a scenario where I can depict homoerotic, voyeuristic power dynamics.
The simplicity of my style and design has allowed me to create a platform where I can demonstrate both classical story telling with complex notions, alongside my passion for arts and craft techniques. The object and the image aren’t co-dependent on each other, but when placed together create a theatrical setting; a place where voyeuristic and homoerotic fantasies align with domestic objects, drawing in the viewer and situating them within the installation.