Julian Meagher's Paint and InkTattoo // Wednesday, 20 Jun 2012
Having trained in traditional oil portraiture in Florence, Italy in his early 20's, his application of paint somewhat reflects those techniques. He applies multiple thin glazes over many sittings, achieving an almost watercolour-like effect. He refers to his practice as a form of 'messy neat realism', where the narrative of the work comes from the surface history a simple symbolic object.
Originally, Meagher’s subject matter centered around the ritual of tattooing, the narrative of the ink in the skin, and by stripping away the sitter's identity and 'floating' the image in the centre of a white background, he creates an almost specimen-like effect with his works. Recently his larger works have been loosely based around other masculine rituals and symbols. An element of humour now also plays a part in these works. His last show titled 'Small Heroes', included a beautiful large-scale still-life of a six-pack of VB beer, a large all male processional bearing of “the slab”, and also paintings of Ming vases which were subtlely detourned with Australian beer bottles and cases.