b.1979 London. Lives and works in London
Andrew Curtis produces images of suburban dissonance by blurring physical and psychological reality. Using our shared knowledge and preconceptions of suburbia, he questions contemporary notions of anomie, the abject and the exotic. Recurrent motifs include the shadow, anachronistic signs of cultural appropriation, house plants and references to high modernism via suburban facade.
For ‘Suburban Monochromes 1’ Curtis has reconfigured an image from a 1970’s Daily Mail architectural guide by eliminating text and painting out or on the windows.
“Curtis derives his motifs and subject matter from books and manuals that not so long ago informed the taste, habits and methods that middle class Britons used to shape the internal and external environment they inhabited. He reprocesses these images as digital prints before masking the windows in the houses, or all background and context of the house plant images, with Rotring ink or exterior enamel paint.The context and purpose of the photographs are thus transformed to ask questions about popular taste and visual pleasure.
The windows of these mundane homes offer the artist a set of structures that conceal as much as they reveal, and by applying a black monochrome surface the window itself becomes a mask, a void and a radically open-ended signifier. The window no longer offers a transition between inside and out, but becomes its own medium, addressing the surface of the photographic object and the facade of suburban experience, asking about the nature of this surface and how it communicates to a mass audience. The windows also take on the form of a modernist abstraction, as if the spirit of Malevich and Mondrian had stealthily moved into the British suburbs”.
– Craig Burnett 2010