Mortimer Justin

Defector, 2022100 x 70 cmoil on panel
Contestant I, 2019 - 202280 x 60 cmoil on canvas mounted panel
Contestant II, 202176 x 50.5 cmoil on panel
Contestant III, 202260 x 80 cmoil on panel
Moon, 2019 - 202190 x 80 cmOil on canvas
Guru IV, 202241.5 x 61 cmoil on panel

Justin Mortimer's paintings invite us to question the relationship between form and content, beauty and horror, figuration and abstraction. This is because Mortimer’s paintings mirror a world in disorder, reflecting the social and political upheaval that is a staple of contemporary, international news agendas. His oil paintings often push the boundaries of figuration, landscape, and abstraction, plunging into the darkness of existential themes. The artist’s attentiveness to disorder was catalyzed by a newspaper article that delineated the atrocities of the ongoing Bosnian War, which reminded Mortimer of human fragility and the lingering possibility of societal collapse. Overwhelmed by a shroud of fear, Mortimer became committed to utilizing his emotions as instruments in creating his paintings. The artist has clarified that his work does not reference particular events, but is instead meant to evoke sentiments that transcend cultural difference. From his tortured narratives, Mortimer extracts imagery depicting despair, hope, and a peculiar conception of 'beauty'. This beauty is in perpetual decay: bodies are disjointed, space is fragmented, and reality is perplexingly enigmatic. Not only is this symbolic of one's evolving perception of a contemporary world culled by a deluge of print and digital information, but it further suggests the ways in which the fabric of society is increasingly warped. Justin Mortimer has a number of important portrait commissions behind him - he painted well-known public figures including Queen Elizabeth II., David Bowie, and Harold Pinter.

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