"I always try to push the boundaries of taste.”
Jonny Niesche reduces painting and sculpture to their most fundamental forms: colour, light and perception. His abstract compositions ooze from the centre outwards in swathes of carefully rendered pastel hues. With symmetrical rectangular forms, the works are evocative of Minimalist sculptors such as Anne Truitt and Donald Judd. Instead of seeing his works as painting or sculpture, the artist sees them as ‘image-objects,’ shifting between the two disciplines. The works utilise a variety of techniques and materials including metal stretchers, voile, digital colour selection and dye sublimation - a process that uses heat to transfer dye. Neither opaque nor see-through, they appear to float and pulsate, changing from fixed images to dynamic events.
Niesche’s work draws from his youth, make-up and glam rock stars like David Bowie. As a young boy expected to assimilate to the laddish culture of 1970s Australia, he would join his mother on trips to the cosmetic store, where the enticing sights and smells conjured a guilty excitement. Picture This, a 2016 exhibition at Melbourne’s Station Gallery, presented a body of work with a colour palette inspired by the eyeshadow of 70s icon, Debbie Harry. The works encapsulated a sensitive tribute to kitsch, camp and feminine strength - a quiet thank you from son to mother. Homaging his heroes from both his personal life and popular culture, Niesche purifies a wealth of influences into a rich simplicity that brings elegant, refined glamour to gallery walls.