Acrylic paint, 50mm tanalised plywood and 20mm laminex solid surface
“A group of 9 life-size cartoon-like characters are viewing 3 sculptures on plinths. The ‘cartoon’ figures are a collection of diverse styles-ancient, manga, kids’ drawings, graffiti, traffic-sign, cartoon, modernist, Rorschach ink blob and geometric. In contrast the 3 ‘ideal’ plinth sculptures are ironically mundane sign figures.
The sculpture echoes the Platonic notion of ‘the idea of a chair, the chair itself and a drawing of the chair’ each being one step removed from the next, except almost in reverse here, as the hSOTG visitors will also be regarding the figures regarding the sculptures and inevitably someone, at one more step removed, will be photographing the whole event”.
Paul Radford enrolled at Elam School of Fine Arts at Auckland University at seventeen. In the early 80’s he travelled to the U.K and Europe and began work based on cartoon-like figures and graffiti evoking contemporary urban life with a sense of anxiety and unease underwritten with a droll humour. On returning to New Zealand he was engaged as a scenic artist in the local lm industry. In 2003 after a lengthy period during which he didn’t show, he began a series of figures on a colour field, again combining techniques and styles. It wasn’t until he discovered Cycladic Art that he found a motif that he felt could fulfil his aesthetic and existential requirements. Recently Radford has returned to groups of figures.