Candy Clarke

Candy Clarke - Artist's Statement

Candy Clarke is an artist working in the medium of painting, usually acrylic on Perspex. Using bold imagery and strong colour she likes to create the illusion of a new painterly world, one that's trapped beneath the plastic, elusive, like the world behind the ubiquitous computer/TV/phone/camera screen.

Visually related to the pop art of Dick Frizzell and Andy Warhol, Clarke presents images and symbols of everyday consumer items and "sells back what's already sold", toying with the viewer's desire to consume her art. Familiar objects such as packaged food are elevated to the status of serious art subject matter, often overlayed with text "like monuments in an uncertain landscape." Her use of multiple view points give her images movement. The inanimate become animated; her images are never really still.

Clarke knowingly parodies twenty first century consumerism, suburban dissatisfaction and the continuous search for gratification. Reflected in her artwork, is society's insatiable appetite for more products. Subject matter is often a comment on topical issues. Clarke quotes icons of New Zealand art history such as McCahon's images and text, in a post-modern twist.

Often using humour and double entendre in her art, Clarke also references advertising and its techniques that create illusions, and promote desire in the viewer/customer. She uses barcodes that commodify the paintings, and contain hidden messages. She also likes to involve the viewer in the work via the reflective surface, having to look through the distortions of reflection to find the "truth". Each viewing therefore becomes a unique personal interpretation.