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Tristan Pigott’s work explores the notion of narcissism typically associated with portraiture, where satirical undertones expose the reality beneath the façade. His works convey the translation of human ego into image and question the importance we place on appearance and perception.
The portrayal of the cyclical nature of everyday life, a reoccurring theme in Tristan’s work, mirrors similarly habitual and automated psychological traits, such as arrogance
and anxiety. These themes are portrayed using personal sources, playing on people’s characteristics, putting them in surreal narratives and showing the theatricality of
the situation. Every day actions such as eating and drinking aim to subvert the idea that portraiture should be intrinsically flattering.
His work is designed as conscious of how narcissistic portraiture and social media can be. Instagram and Facebook, amongst their many uses, have given people an increased control over the personality they wish to project, similar to the historical role of portraiture itself.
Tristan’s paintings convey how human ego is translated into image by juxtaposing realistic painted figures before a surreal backdrop. The abstract composition of the works displays the difference between performance and reality, where the suggestion of action plays an important role in provoking the viewer’s interpretation. The artist’s figurative style allows for the conveyance of conceptual narratives with an aesthetic immediacy that remains relevant to the viewer. Realistic depiction of detail respectively draws emphasis to the importance of the sitter, exposing an almost awkward self-consciousness of the subject and further highlighting the attention placed on personal image. Tristan, in his willing criticism of contemporary culture, successfully distorts and abstracts the narrow boundary between performance and reality with the knowing deftness of a participant.
Tristan’s painting ‘The Cynic’ was selected for the esteemed BP Portrait Award show at The National Portrait Gallery. His still life drawing ‘Save The Cacti’ was accepted into the Royal Academy Gallery summer show, and ‘Dead Natural’ made a solo show at The Cob Gallery in Camden. ‘Dead Natural’ targets the way we painstakingly choreograph our image presenting a world in which we are all far more awkward than our Instagram-filtered selves appear to be.
Tristan’s most recent show at the Cob Gallery, entitled ‘Art Basil’, challenges the idea of artists and the values they bring to the art world. A ‘joke’ show, Tristan created five fake artists, making websites and different works for each. The project was designed to observe the reaction and engagement of his audience, who remain unaware of true identity of the artist behind the works.
Having begun the development of his practice as a traditional painter, Tristan has now begun to flirt with the inclusion of technology in his works. His most recent pieces, making use of 3D printing, explore the infinite possibilities provided by modern day progress. The purpose of the 3D printed frame, for example, is to question and bridge the gap between ornamental and functional use. In this vein, the continuation of Tristan’s creative development sees him mixing the traditional, two-dimensionality of painting with contemporary techniques and methods of display.
AnOther, 23th November 2015
ArtistTristan Pigott’s most recent collection of paintings, wittily entitled Dead Natural, targets both the way sitters traditionally pose for a painting, and the way we painstakingly choreograph our own ‘self-portraits’ on social media. His work takes the form of painterly portraits, but rather than following the contemporary zeitgeist, Pigott questions the human ego; in his world we are all far more awkward than our Instagram-filtered selves appear to be. ...
i-D, 23th November 2015
You can immediately relate to the subjects of Tristan Pigott's paintings. His portraits have a snapshot-ish quality, like scenes you might see on Instagram - of friends sitting on the subway (actually the Tube - Tristan lives in London), putting on makeup still half-dressed, or eating breakfast and looking slightly worse for wear. He captures awkward in-between moments that feel both everyday and surreal. ...
iGNANT, 7th April 2014
Tristan Pigott creates exceptional paintings with oil on linen. His artworks are explorations of human characteristics, often presenting the people in them as awkwardly self-conscious. He plays on these characteristics by creating surreal narratives, where a person’s projection is emphasized by drama. ...
Born, lives and works in London.
2009 – 2012 || Camberwell College of Arts – Painting BA (Hons)
2008 - 2009 || Wimbledon Art Foundation
2014 – 2015 || ‘Changing Looks’ Solo show | GX Gallery, London
2013 – 2014 || ‘Act Natural’ Solo show | GX Gallery, London
2016 || ‘Art Basil”| The Cob Gallery, London
2016 || London Art Fair ,London
2016 || 'Hyperion' | MTArt, 119 E 17th St, New York
2015 || 'Dead natural' | The Cob Gallery, London
2015 || Fragments Of: New Contemporaries, London
2015 || Yellow Sun: The New Contemporaries, Lagos/Port Harcourt, Nigeria
2015 || Avenir Art Auction in partnership with Sotheby’s, London
2015 || BP Portrait Award | National Portrait Gallery, London
2015 || Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London
2014 ||‘New Collections | GX Gallery, London
2013 || 'First Seven' | Bermondsey Project Space, London
2013 || 'Seven Artists' | The Strand Gallery, London
2013 || Affordable Art Fair, Battersea, London
2012 || Affordable Art Fair, Hampstead, London
2012 || “Flock' | GX Gallery, London
2012 || Pop Up Show | Le Baron, London
2012 || 'Painting Summer Show' | Camberwell College of Arts, London
2011 || 'Peek Show' | Biscuit Factory, London