Terry Rodgers - You Were Never Really There, (London), 2018

Terry Rodgers has made a name for himself as a virtuoso painter of large-scale, cinematic depictions of bodies in search of connection. His instantly recognizable style has been rewarded with museum- and gallery exhibitions throughout Europe and the United States, as well as collaborations with high-end brands like Lalique and even a feature in HBO's True Detective.

Rodgers canvasses celebrate the surface as much as they hint at what simmers underneath. Golden candelabras, glasses of champagne, silk and rich upholstery form the backdrop for a group of gorgeous lost souls. These figures tend to have a floating presence, as if they are caught an existential stasis. Their skin is shiny to the point of being translucent, their gaze is pointed down- or outwards. Some blushingly stumble through a drunken daze while others try to strike a nonchalant pose. Together, they represent a contemporary experience of social structures. Through painting the body in a cage of luxury, Rodgers has found a striking metaphor for the series of disconnects that can occur between body, mind and the other. In his most recent work, he seems to have put an emphasis on these mental and physical gaps by highlighting edges and focusing on transparencies. By combining intimate body politics with jet-set aesthetics, he shows imagined spaces where capitalist fantasy meets a deeply human reality.

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by Emiel van der Pol