The art of Pippa Young
Pippa Young envisions the human condition defined by vulnerability and frailty, ephemerality and uncertainty. In her early and mid Renaissance inspired works the artist presents not portraits, but universal themes related to how we perceive, build and connect to the fragmented, ambiguous and constantly shifting reality: “The figure in my painting is a means to communicate directly with the viewer and the absence of context allows the figures to occupy their own subjective space, timeless and unadorned.”
Pippa Young usually depicts youth, even child characters, thus lacking a clear identity, engaged in a process of self-doubt, self-discovery, and self-construction. They seem caught in a deep state of meditation – the gaze is often focused on something outside what is visible in the painting or are unable to notice the presence of the other, perhaps pictured here as a reflection of the self or an alter ego. They feel awake and absent at the same time, possibly awaiting the moment of revelation regarding who and why they are. Their existence is independent of spatial and temporal frames, only colour and patterns, transparent and blank elements appear to compose the outside and inner life.
We experience the world around us in a personal manner and indirectly, through filters, mainly photographic imagery from various sources – the media, the internet and so on. These filters act as barriers between us and the real world, a concept we cannot fully comprehend as “our experience is received second-hand”. The artist further explains: “I am interested in the way images change when translated from photograph to paint, as well as the alchemy which seems to occur when context is altered and when fragments of images are combined. My aim has been to develop a visual language that reflects not just contemporary concerns, but also the memory and history which underpins where we are now. ”
Mesmerized by our own noise, 120×120 cm
Self-doubt, 95×120 cm
Self-construction, 95×125 cm
Icon, 24×30 cm
Absence of context, 90×120 cm
Assumed identity, 20×30 cm
Images © Pippa Young
The artist is represented by Arusha Gallery.