Described by art critic, Ken Bolton, as "a kind of stirring of the Visual Imaginary of our epoch," Paul Sloan's paintings are at once free and direct, considered and closely perceived. Working from the vantage point of loose realism, his paintings are imbued with immediacy and graphic energy.
As an artist interested in points of rebellion, conflict and revolt, the images that constitute Paul Sloan's Mediocrity Clamp Down are studies of charged moments and loaded signifiers, united by the notion of points of flux. In the series, images from history are counterpointed by images from nature. An Appalachian miner sits above a pair of duelling sparrows, next to him an active volcano smoulders. A faceless 19th century military figure rests his head in his hand, while a lone pigeon appears arrested in mid-flight.
Scenes of harmony and conflict chart the tension that exists in the natural world as much as it does in the world man makes for himself.
Each painting in this series contains its own internal narrative, each carries its own ambiguity. It is this ambiguity in narrative which plays an important function within the reading of this work, opening up the work for the viewer to construct their own meaning, resisting a closed or direct narrative.
Of the Mediocrity Clamp Down series, Paul Sloan says: "Partly what I am looking at is the progress of dynamic points in history, tracing the history of revolts and revolution and activities that involve conflict."
'Mediocrity Clamp Down' was commissioned for 2011 group show, 'Soft Rebellion' - featuring new work from artists Stuart Bailey, Carla Cecson, James Dodd, and Paul Sloan. Exhibited at SASA Gallery, Adelaide and curated by Stuart Bailey and James Dodd.