February 2014 marks the much anticipated new body of work entitled The Devil's Cabinet from celebrated artist George Morton Clark. The new collection of 18 subconscious paintings reflect Morton Clark's signature style - a radical alienation of faces and images that suggest both a touch of irony and sadism as well as a state of anxiety and a soul on the verge of a mental abyss.
The inspiration for The Devil's Cabinet is simple. Morton Clark believes we are immersed in a world of sin and live in a society that has been necessarily reset to its raw default settings. We see riots happen on our own streets, as if hell has been allowed to run amuck for a few days and where it is easier to be bad than it is to be good. The Devil's Cabinet is what we all potentially have inside us. The issue is whether we want to open the door to it to see what lurks there for us to use or not. Most of us keep it shut, but there are a few that leave it open all the time.
The crux of the show - the upside down cross - is to remind the viewer about having to keep a balance between good and evil and not to leave The Devil's Cabinet open.
Says George: "The dark side of beauty will be shown through my work as I sometimes put together uncomfortable images but also beautiful ones. By the end, I hope to have a kind of poetic beauty to it. I can never seem to create something without it having imperfections. Even when it is 'nice', I always like to destroy it whether with a mark or a splash of paint. But for me in some way, this is perfection as it comes out uniformed to me."
With abstract brush strokes to very fine detail and the sometimes uncomfortable mark making, Morton Clark has a unique trademark style. A slight difference in tone or an unplanned paint stroke can alter the image and start a whole new game.
What may at first appear to be a mistake is more often than not the painting revealing itself. By letting his subconscious lead the creative process there is arguably a greater truth and something deeper that's revealed in the final piece. And, during the putting together of this show, both the dark and a light side of his work has come to the fore inspiring the name The Devil's Cabinet.
Says Dr. Rolf Lauter - Chief Curator and Deputy Director at Museum of Modern Art Frankfurt, Germany: "Morton Clark's painting is like a psychogram of society, a mirror of the tormented and excruciating psyche within the human being. With his influences of Arnulf Rainer, Jean-Michael Basquiat and Street painters, his work shows a dispute with the 'honesty of the streets' and the realities which are hidden behind the visible reality."
A painter for the past 8 years, Morton's work is collected worldwide. Amongst his notable collectors include Liam Howlett of The Prodigy. His biggest show to date was in Munich at the Museum of Modern Art in Munich.