It gives us great pleasure to present KINGDOM by Tomas Harker for his debut solo exhibition with Maze Gallery. Throughout this collection, Harker revisits stories from the past, navigaing the history of art and our shared cultural heritage. He draws inspiration from classical paintings and found photographs to represent traditional narratives through a contemporary lense.
Works by great artists of the past such as Caravaggio are hijacked from their original context to explore the darker side of our psychology, our subconcious fear and our desires. Harker's painterly language directs you from violence and horror to ephemeral and transcendental; with an immediacy and rawness that is alluring and intoxicating.
Nocturnes and visions of dark wonderlands disorientate our gaze leaving us to fill in the gaps. Within this world we get feelings of familiarity and these artworks force the viewer to slow down as you are immersed. We sense that something is going on just below the surface; something is being revealed. But what is disclosed feels tantilisingly out of reach.
Within KINGDOM there is a sense of erosion and decay, a reference to the timeless subject of morality seen throughout these works. Classical Gods, idols, heroes, villains and rulers all play their part - as if in remembrance or as a warning. The paintings are an odyssey where questions are asked, without imposing a difinitive answer or judgement. Ideologies are examined; relationships of power and subjugation are put on trial and it becomes apparent that parallels are being drawn between the past and the present.