At first glance, the oil paintings of Melbourne, Australia-based artist Jeremy Geddes don’t look like paintings at all. Rather, an exceptional command of light, movement, composition and tension combine to give his work incredible detail and photo-like realism. Like any great surrealist, this amazingly detailed style helps blur the line between reality and illusion, challenging the viewer’s perception of both.
Geddes’ work generates a tension between man-made environments in flux and the fragility of living bodies. His paintings depict figures suspended in desolate urban landscapes or fractured environments that are in the process of falling apart. The figures themselves look as if they are falling to earth from space. Complex works such as “Pale Memory” and “A Perfect Vacuum” are often contrasted by smaller paintings (“Redemption”, the “Miserere” and “Cosmonaut” series) that feature a single subject isolated in a solid black or white plane. Deconstruction seems to be his thing. His painting also depict intense loneliness, isolation and loss of self-identity, perhaps the downside of living in an increasingly technological society.
When asked how he formulates the ideas for his surrealist work, Geddes said, “I don’t think that painting is a great medium to express coherent and fully formed ideas, and so I tend not to think along those lines. Instead, I’m more interested in creating images that are dissonant to some degree, which set up situations that the viewer has to resolve. I think the strength of a painting comes in how much or little information the painter gives to the viewer to aid that resolution.”
Ladies and gentlemen, is it real, or is it the amazingly detailed paintings of Jeremy Geddes? Judge for yourself.