On first viewing, the subject matter of Martin Redmond’s work is evocative of Claudio Bravo (1936-2011), the Chilean photo-realist artist. Cardboard boxes, crumpled paper and plastic bags are observed with the rigour of someone seeing these objects for the first time, alert to every shifting hue, every interplay of light and shade. But Redmond doesn’t offer us the hyper-realism of the Chilean; for the Irish artist, the tonal quality of the work is as important as its verisimilitude.
Like Bravo, there is an element of trompe l’oeil to the paintings, a technique from the Baroque period, literally meaning ‘to trick the eye’, by creating the illusion of three-dimensionality. With Redmond, however, the tones are always muted. The lighting isn’t used for dramatic effect, but rather to soften the visual impact of the work, drawing the viewer in to examine the most mundane of subject matter.
In his tonal subtlety, Redmond has more in common with the Italian artist, Giorgio Morandi (1890-1964). The Italian honed his compositions of simple household objects through gradations of tone rather than any dramatic shifts in colour or lighting. The facility to look again at the commonplace, to note it’s physicality, how the subtlest of shifts in light can alter a subject, is at the heart of the work.
Born in Wexford in 1983, Martin Redmond is a graduate in Fine Art from Carlow IT. He showed at the RHA Annual Exhibition every year between 2012 and 2016 and the RUA Annual in 2016. This is his debut solo exhibition at The Molesworth Gallery.