The exhibition’s eponymous piece is A Bit of a Wind Got Up (2012), a typically large-scale canvas by the wonderful Kevin Sinnott, and it bears all the hallmarks of his talent; thick brushstrokes, dynamic colour, a vibrant tableaux and lashings of desire as dense as the paint.
The painting depicts a woman hanging washing,
a breeze lifting her apron, her throat and wrists exposed as geese roam at her feet, the neck of one stretched phallically towards her skirt. The painting is alive with the movement created by its textured surface, fluid composition, and assault on the senses. The wind isn’t the only thing getting up. Even I wanted to sleep with the sultry housewife.
Public Private Life (1997 – 2006), also deals with lust, as a voluptuous woman lounges on a sunbed, stared at enviously by a lone girl and lewdly by a group of boys while her husband/lover turns away from the viewer, distracted, jealous or simply irrelevant. Of course its not only the bare subject matter that creates the tension. The rub lies in the little moment captured in Sinnott’s powerful daubs, in which all characters experience a little revelation, and again, the composition invites your eye – and your mind – to roam.
Billy Jean (2012) sees a shocked woman abandoned on the curb, clutching a baby as a man slouches away into the night. The moment captured and the emotions shown tell a whole book worth of story. The urban landscape is clearly American, and while Sinnott is an Irishman born in Wales and based in London, there is more than a touch of Americana in his work.
Falling Man (2008), as well as continuing in the Rococo and Baroque style of all Sinnott’s art, has a Frontier feel that echoes through the remote landscape of A Bit Of A Wind Got Up and the emotional drama of Don’t Ever Leave Me, Baby (2011). Falling Man throws a man literally into the arms of a red-nailed, red-dressed femme fatale, who catches him as he swoons. This role reversal also echoes the hyper-real but simultaneously dream-like atmosphere (created by subject matter versus style) that runs through Sinnott’s work, as in Don’t Ever Leave Me, Baby,
where a girl wraps herself around her cowboy-esque lover so closely they almost meld into one.
The show’s tour de force is Above It All (2009), another hallucinatory scene, where two figures, a man and a woman, at first glance apparently drowsing on a hill, reveal themselves to be floating above a valley of terraced and semi-detached houses, a view straight from Sinnott’s Welsh childhood. The buoyancy of the image is magical, and the figures, a belly wantonly exposed, seem to have fallen asleep to dream lascivious dreams.
Sinnott’s paintings have to be seen in the flesh to feel the full force of his fevered vision. He transforms the everyday into a portrait of the intimate and passionate interactions between human beings, and more importantly, recreates that passion and intimacy between the viewer and the painting. Get hot and bothered while you can.
A Bit Of A Wind Got Up runs at Flowers Gallery until November 24th.
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