Rapid mash-ups of colour and line as well as a palpable sense of gusto distinguish Troy Mendham’s paintings.
As a painter-turned-image maker working through contemporary Abstraction, his new solo exhibition I WISH I COULD KEEP LIKING THIS AND YOU WOULD GET TONNES OF LIKES BC I JUST WANNA LOOK AT THIS 4 EVA!!!! sees Mendham progress his exploration of new ways in which audiences are engaging with Abstraction in both physical and virtual arenas.
As the exhibition’s title suggests, Mendham’s practice as a painter encompasses that of the avid instagrammer or online content creator who uploads imagery for online exchange; approximating aesthetic value with mass receivership. Mendham’s engagement with the perpetual image stream of the screen follows on from his ‘Ambush Exhibiting’ series where he distributed his paintings in various public locations for audiences to find, document and re-appropriate as techno images using smartphones.
Most intriguing about Mendham’s new series is how he presents a contemporary situation for abstraction whereby the painterly gesture has virtual sensitivities towards compressions, transposition, and simulated impressions. Yet, by their physically defined presence in the gallery, Mendham dually acknowledges the genre’s history and current evolvement, the consumption of its rendering, and how these split sensibilities are integral to the future of the artistic practice.
James Bowen, 2014