A solo exhibition by Darin Latimer opens in February at Elephant Room Gallery.
“SuperDeath Pt. 1 (Let it Bleed)” is Darin’s 2nd solo exhibition at Elephant Room Gallery. Since the last exhibition 3 years ago, a lot has changed not only in the world, but for the artist personally. Just before the Pandemic and his 1st show at the gallery, the artist was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. In response, Darin created around 200 new works with fervent energy. The title for this exhibition is a direct reflection of the incurable diagnosis. There have been advances since the initial diagnosis 2 years ago that offer some hope of a prolonged life. For the artist, the diagnosis and the subsequent state of the world have collided, resulting in changes in his art and art-making process.
Darin is a devotee of that misunderstood quote from Matisse, that art should be a comfortable armchair at the end of the day. This does not necessarily mean he was saying that art should be easy but that it should hold out some hope of consolation. This consolation could be for solely the creator of the art or for the viewer. No matter the outcome and reception of the audience, art-making is a personal journey for the artist and to know the context in which the artist creates the work helps to further inform how we take it all in.
Darin is not a formally trained artist but is a scholar of art and literature (food and movies too). His considerable library of Art Books garnered more of his attention when the pandemic started. He turned inward, revisiting books that he hadn’t touched for 20 years. “I fixated on rooms depicted in paintings, compressed, even crushed spaces - back to my old formative heroes - Picasso, Giacometti and, particularly Matisse (Cezanne and Cecily Brown too...). Near the end, Picasso did 6 dozen versions of ‘Las Meninas’ by Velazquez (to whom I am related by marriage). I made one too (and it will be just One) but it was for the same reason. It’s the fulcrum of this show and it is not a characteristic work.” - Darin
For Darin, it is Matisse, who, finally, informs this new work. The exuberance and inexhaustibility can be felt in “SuperDeath Pt. 1 (Let it Bleed)”. It is a culmination of select works created during quarantine but the bulk of it from the last 6 months. Darin’s primary mediums are Krink Ink markers and acrylic paint on paper, canvas and panel. Abstracted figures, solid colors, lines and shapes cover the work. Each piece contains its own unique story and purpose but all inspired by everything that Darin loves about life and art. One might say that the exhibition is the birth of many works inspired by our impending death. You cannot have one with the other.
Image: "Red Altar (After Matisse)," Darin Latimer, acrylic and krink ink on canvas, 30 x 40