Joe Read (See-Through)’s haunting depictions of abstract figures delve into their mental states. Although never entirely human, disproportionate and disfigured beings become metaphors for the things that exist within us, where our internal thoughts physically manifest as some sort of identifiable feature of the subject.
In the artist’s deeply metaphysical works, the human and the real are the subjects that come to the fore as a part of the artistic language exploring the plane of realism through surreal figures. The reality of these works are dripping with pathos, their existence is a melancholic exercise in what can happen to a soul that hasn’t been nourished.
Baring cavities in their chests like medals, the figures in one of See-Through’s works morph together into a sort of amalgamated oneness of pain, but also of a possible transformation. As a caterpillar evolves, so too do we. But, to evolve requires a commitment to become something more and for that - we must shed a skin and leave a part of us behind.
Although not explicitly alone, it’s hard to think of the characters that inhabit this artist’s space as being anything but - even when they're depicted with others. They’re static and silent, yet seem to move achingly in both pain and catharsis, to the sound of a modern inner-city landscape. See-Through’s figures might, at first, seem nothing like us but they are, in fact, a mirror image of us in our contemporary lives.
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