|DATES:||New Zealand b. 1950|
|TITLE:||Grafton Bridge III|
|MEDIUM:||Oil on canvas|
|SIZE:||50 x 83.5 cm|
|REMARKS:||Signed and dated 2003 lower right|
New Zealand, b. 1950
George Baloghy’s main themes are the depictions of city landscapes, often with a quirky and ironic eye. They have a quiet humour to them and an interest in the mundane incidental details of landscape (such as road markings and pieces of urban detritus alongside the dramatic such as the volcanic cones of Auckland).
This is a particular kind of realism, not a photographic likeness, but as the artist describes it, an “enhanced realism”. The distant details are sharper than they appear in real life, and the overall effect is slightly disconcerting. Much of the enhancing process is the subtle changing of elements within the painting, so that distant hills might be brought closer or the middle distance left out. Yet they are faithful to real life and the scenes are instantly recognisable.
The compositions are those used by seventeenth and eighteenth century landscape painters such as Canaletto and Claude Lorraine and so Baloghy easily fits into that western tradition. With Claudian devices such as a road or path leading the spectator into the picture, the dramatisation of the foreground and aerial perspective, one could almost mistake these pictures for centuries old paintings were it not for the modern props, buildings and cars.
These paintings are historic records. The scenes are very specific in time and location. The city is constantly changing, and even after very short periods of time these images become a record of an era that exists no more.
Baloghy lives and works in Auckland, and these scenes are an affectionate journey through the landscape he inhabits and they become an autobiography of his travels and the way he sees the world around him. Many contain references to his own presence in the landscape with the inclusion of his own car driving through it.
The obsessive attention to detail creates an edginess that challenges the viewer to engage the pictures at a deeper level than just a surface depiction of landscape.
|Jonathan Grant Galleries Ltd
280 Parnell Rd, Parnell, Auckland, New Zealand.
Telephone +64-9-308 9125 Email email@example.com