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01 October 2008

New Arrival - Tony Kew

Kew’s work is a wonderful mix of old Masters techniques, mythological motifs and pure fantasy. In fact Kew has an imagination unrestrained by reality where nudes in elaborate headdress, centaurs, gods and goddesses meander amidst vast landscapes full of forests and waterfalls.

There is a powerful religious theme running through Kew’s work. Quite a number of paintings feature elderly ecclesial figures dressed in their finest garments of opulent reds and blues while the female stands there in her nakedness. There is role reversal involved as the priests are hidden in shadow and she is accentuated by artificial, almost subterranean lighting effects, standing out against a nocturnal background (this calls to mind techniques explored by Caravaggio). The nude is powerless, pure and innocent under their condemning eyes, we are dubious and sceptical of the priests and can’t help but wonder what are they doing there half hidden under the cloak of darkness.

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