Rex Southwick’s highly saturated paintings verge on the self-referential: they are concerned with the often gritty process of creating something deemed beautiful. Southwick depicts luxury domestic spaces in different stages of construction, challenging the stream of idealised images that flood our digital feeds. His work is a celebration of paint over pixel; canvas over screen.
Rex Southwick's paintings toil with the exploration of interactions with domestic spaces in relation to ownership and aspiration. Southwick’s artworks confront the idealised imagery of luxury domestic environments disseminated by digital platforms. The artist works primarily from photographs provided by Balearic and American building contractors to present the real process behind the creation of these seemingly perfect homes. Southwick uses the same bright pink ground colour for all his paintings, which gives them their saturated quality as vibrant colours offset the seemingly unremarkable subject matter. He frequently employs the modernist motif of the swimming pool but plays with its archetypal representation, choosing to render the apparently unglamorous phase of its construction. As such, Southwick constantly challenges our perceptions of luxury and privilege by encouraging us to question imagery that is presented as ostensibly perfect.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Rex Southwick (b.1997), is a figurative, large-scale painter who is known for his striking use of colour and tone. His work is thematically focused on buildings under construction and the unseen labour force behind these spaces that we are accustomed to seeing in a more polished and refined state; exploring the disconnect between creator and creation. After graduating from Leeds Arts University with First Class Honours, Southwick was awarded the AON Community Art Award in 2018. Southwick’s work has been exhibited widely in group exhibitions across the UK and is featured in recognised private collections, including Museum Azman and the Frank-Suss Collection. In 2019, Southwick presented works at London Fashion Week and collaborated with the supergroup The Power Station to create a cover for their album. The same year, Southwick presented his debut solo exhibition with Unit London, entitled Querencia which was followed by another solo exhibition in 2020, Purple Lands. In 2021, Southwick was part of the Rites of Passage group exhibition at Unit London. The artist currently lives and works in North London.