1973: Was born in Birmingham, UK Simon Hennessey
's paintings are perceived as a reflection of reality but in truth the artwork transcends into its own abstraction of reality. Through using the camera as a visual source for painting, he is able to create false illusions that are judged as our own reality.
"Hennessey’s striking paintings reproduce images of facial features in extreme close-up. In a way it is like those television programmes in which we see only the eyes or the lips of some informant, in order to obscure their identity. Except that Hennessey is not trying to obscure identity so much as to depersonalise the people in his pictures. He wants us somehow to assess their characteristics entirely from a few physical clues.
"One recent work is a diptych which poses the question ‘Angelina: Saint or Sinner?’ The question is not so direct as it sounds. The left half of the face is in colour, the right in black-and-white. Do we think colour is the Devil’s work, while black-and-white implies documentary purity? A lot of people see it that way. But is not black-and-white more artificial in our everyday experience than colour? And in any case, do not both of them partake here of that ‘false sense of reality, a photoreality’? Hennessey wants us to consider such questions, and leaves the answers up to us."
From “Exactitude: Hyperrealism Today”, by John Russell Taylor (Plus One Publishing)
“My paintings are perceived as a reflection of reality but in truth the artwork transcends into its own abstraction of reality. Through using the camera as a visual source for painting I am able to create false illusions that are judged as our own reality.
“There are certain qualities produced by the camera that do not & cannot exist in our real world, they are only ever present in the digitized imagery of photography. The visual perceptions of a cameras lens generates a world of distortion in the basics of realism, such as the manipulation of focus, tonality, colour, depth and focal points, as a result presenting us with a false sense of reality: or a hyper reality.
“The reduplication and the transformation of media such as a photographic language into a painted language, produces a meticulous calculation within the process of change. Through the mimetic representation of a photographic source I am able to produce paintings that are capable of deceiving the human eye.
“My paintings content refers to identity, individuality, appearance and visual attitude. This is exposed through the process of physiognomy, the theory based upon the concept that the study and act of judging a persons outer appearance, primarily the face will give an insight into their personality or character. I add to the process of physiognomy through censorship and never giving the viewer the full content of the image. I regularly desaturate colour, crop, neutralize backgrounds or use a close focal point to present us with a distorted representation of an identity, therefore adding to this false sense of reality”.
Source: Plus One Gallery Website