Within this work Cattapan walks the tightrope colour spectrum of pink, which requires the exacting use of magenta, alizarin crimson, reds and white. In Philip Guston-like tones, lashes of thin paint run down the large canvas titled ‘Pink Variance 4 (Secret Script)’. To achieve this, Cattapan has almost liquefied the oil paint to the point where its skin has broken down to form textural channels. Adding to the densely layered quality of the work, Cattapan covers these striations with a system of staccato brushstrokes, plotting out a cityscape against the tectonic crust of pink, yellow and green. Like a synaesthete’s view of urban sprawl, this painting encapsulates Cattapan’s fascination with the sensual potential of the digital.
Jon Cattapan is an extensively exhibited visual artist who lives and works in Melbourne, Australia. He first began exhibiting in 1979 and his works deal primarily with ways of representing urban topographies and narratives. He is known for panoramic layered city vistas and figurative groupings and has a long held preoccupation for the way human beings negotiate territories. Within his paintings, drawings and prints we see influences of contemporary global culture and recent history that range from science fiction and film through to urban social debates. His extensive travels in Asia and living in cities such as New York, London and Venice have deeply influenced his practice. Cattapan’s work has been accorded many accolades.