Nathalie Karg Gallery is pleased to present Otherness, an exhibition of new and recent work by the London-based British artist Paul Hosking. Otherness marks Hosking’s first solo presentation with the gallery and is accompanied by an essay, titled Finding oneself, by the conceptual artist and painter Sir Michael Craig-Martin.
Hosking works in a wide range of media involving a number of computerized techniques from industrial laser cutting, to CNC routing, to powder coating. These techniques are used alongside extremely intricate processes, all completed by hand, in which hundreds of individual parts are cut and inlaid together to form large picture planes composed of paint and mirror. The resulting artworks are investigations into the complex visual and psychological implications of mirrored surfaces, exploring the constant slippages between what is on the surface and what is beyond in the reflection.
Continuing this investigation, Otherness focuses on Hosking’s use of painted mirrors on aluminum. The use of colorful, ambient reflective surfaces seductively pulls the viewer in, playing into our innate desire to gaze upon our own reflection while we search the mirror for a sign of self-recognition, or perhaps an affirmation. As Michael Craig-Martin notes in his essay, Finding oneself, “Like Narcissus, we are compelled to look, a passing glance or a steady stare, for some reassuring or revealing sense of ourselves.” In Hosking’s recent work, the viewer’s gaze is halted by a chain link fence motif, marking “the exact border between us and the image beyond, allowing our eye to stop and focus on the otherwise elusive surface of the mirror.” According to Hosking these works are activated by the interaction between object and onlooker, as well as the environments in which they are hung and inhabit. The sense of “otherness”, says Hosking, is in the differences created between the real and perceived reality of the mirrored paintings.
The exhibition’s title has a secondary source of inspiration. Hosking notes that he was also inspired by the global Black Lives Matter movement and Brexit protests throughout the UK. The artist observed how the protest signs and posters altered the use and appearance of the fences they adorned; sometimes blocking or hiding them or creating a shrine to the gathering. With this in mind, the inclusion of the fence motif, which in several instances throughout the exhibition becomes intersected with colorful opaque rectangular placards, acts not only as a visual barrier between us and our reflection but also as a foreground that marks and divides the visual plane of the mirror. The hinged works and free-standing floor sculptures take this idea further as they create differences in the angle of the mirrors and adjust the viewer’s reflection accordingly. The viewer then finds themselves multiplied and repeated, in effect outnumbered, by their own reflection, troubling our sense of what is real and what is represented; between what is self and what is other.
Paul Hosking (b.1976 in Plymouth, UK) is a London based artist. He studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths College. Hosking’s work has exhibited internationally at numerous galleries such as Andreas Thalmann Gallery (Zurich), Michael Fuchs Gallery (Berlin), Galleria Leme (Sao Paulo), Karyn Lovegrove Gallery (Los Angeles), The Economist Sculpture Plaza (London), Becks Futures (ICA, London), and Heart and Soul (London and Los Angeles).