The Science of Painting - Roy Amiss



Acrylic painting on wood, 62 x 62 cm, 2013.

On the eve of the budget, artist Roy Amiss unveils his topical new optical painting in Earl’s Court, London, at Gallery 286:

Title: The Incredible Shrinking Pound

Media:Acrylic Painting on Wood; Size: 62 cm x 62 cm;

Artist: Roy Amiss;

Date: 2013.

Description: This is a self-animated optical painting with a hyperreal coin painted and enlarged 13.5 times actual size.

Comment: Building on the marvellous research of the Japanese psychologist Akiyoshi Kitaoka, the optical artist Kaia Nao and others, I’ve translated their discoveries mathematically into a painting. In addition I’ve added a topical conceptual twist by painting the pound coin and situated it in an Albertian constructed perspective frame. One of my enduring interests has been to combine figurative imagery with abstract forms and ideas. It is a kind of conceptual painting, a serendipitous moment where idea combines with form in a beautiful way – something I call the beautiful idea. The idea grew initially from the theme of Still life and I wanted to create a contradiction to that by creating a still life that moved, and this led me down the path of visual illusions and anomalous motion.

The pound coin appears to hover in an ambiguous state, sometimes frozen suspended in space, and sometimes in recession. This perception of movement is a type of visual illusion known as peripheral drift or anomalous motion, and was first discovered by Wilcox & Fraser (1979). Alex Fraser (1923-2002) was a geneticist and artist who produced an abstract painting and noticed this anomalous movement effect, calling it the escalator illusion.

What better metaphor for the ambivalent state of the economy in recession, with low growth rate and a shrinking pound! And what timing too, the painting will be on show on the eve of the budget, at the preview of the exhibition on Tuesday the 19th March. To add further to this serendipity – the word topical is also an anagram of the word optical!

The painting is part of an exciting and diverse group show of artists, on the theme of Still Life held at Gallery 286, and will also feature 2 other realist paintings of Roy Amiss. The title of the exhibition is:

STILL – An exploration of still life.

19th March - 19th April 2013

Private Views will take place on:
Tuesday March 19th, 6.30 - 8.30pm
Sunday March 24th, 12.00 - 3pm
Thursday April 11th, 6.30 - 8.30pm

Gallery 286, Earl’s Court Road, London SW5 9AS England. Viewing by appointment at other times.

For further information contact Roy Amiss