010:COAST is inspired by Ross Watson’s observations of the Noosa Iron Man competitions he has followed since childhood. The artist’s legendary technique is masterfully employed depicting men in their prime, from surfer twins to tri-athletes engaged in their passions.
In this new series, Watson has again weaved his magic, creating paintings depicting dreamscapes: Ideals of beauty. ‘Visions to stop us in our tracks, to catch our collective breath and admire with intrigue’.
Each coastal panorama instantly transports the viewer beachside and represents a departure from the artist’s recent oeuvre. It is easy to imagine the roar of the crowd and crashing of waves as spectacularly fit athletes strive for the finish line.
“Oh goodness – your works get sexier and sexier and more and more accomplished – lost in admiration!” said Stephen Fry.
Tina Arena, who recently modelled for Watson, the result of which also features in this must-see exhibition, is another example of the artist celebrating gay icons through his thirty year international career.
Arena, who is one of Australia’s highest selling female artists, has previously declined to pose for painted portraits, but told Watson when she first saw his portrait of Stephen Fry, “she knew the time had arrived”. The singer joins Watson’s other high profile subjects including Matthew Mitcham, The Hon. Michael Kirby, Jake Shears and Francois Sagat.
Arena is celebrated in France, having been awarded a Knighthood of the Order of National Merit by President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2009. The large portrait includes a superb marble figure by Claude Poirier, which Watson sought out at the Louvre Museum in June; a reference to the singers love of Paris, which she calls home along with Melbourne.
Ross Watson Gallery, 465 Nicholson St, Carlton North
Exhibition: 17 January – 2 February 2014
For more information, visit: www.rosswatson.com for details.
Image: Tina Arena – courtesy of Ross Watson Gallery