PARADOX: Darren Coffield

5 - 28 October 2012

Darren Coffield’s work explores the themes of celebrity, identity, the function of representation and how we perceive each other. These works subvert the viewer's instinctive faculties for reading human features to create stimulating and provocative portraits. 
 
An inverted face, one that is turned upside down is not only difficult to recognise, it repositions our sensitivity to the spatial relationships between human features. These works are not a simple, formulaic inversion of the features, but a sensitive reinterpretation of the physiognomy. Like any intelligent portrait they have a dynamic aesthetic, individually tailored to reflect the personality of each subject, but even in their changed state the features retain the character of the subject, although the muddled features hang down like a bizarre mask. 
 
These portraits are a visual interpretation of the word Doublethink, invented by the English 20th century author George Orwell in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. Doublethink describes the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct. 
 
For this exhibition the artist responded to the intimate scale of Herrick Gallery and produced a series of ‘miniature’ painted portraits. The diminutive size of these works, presented within vintage brass and velvet frames, will be emphasised by their juxtaposition with some of Coffield's larger canvases. 
 
Darren Coffield lives and works in London and has exhibited widely across the UK and abroad.