THE MOST STRIKING DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN ANCIENT PAINTING AND AN OLD PHOTOGRAPH IS NOT SO MUCH THE VARIATION IN TECHNIQUE, BUT THE FACT THAT PHOTOS HAVE A SENSE OF LIFE THAT IS OFTEN MISSING IN PAINTINGS. IN OTHER WORDS, EVEN THOUGH YOU KNOW THAT MOST OF THE TIME THE PERSON PORTRAYED IN A PAINTING ONCE WAS A LIVING BEING, AN OLD PHOTOGRAPH CAPTURES THAT FEELING EVEN MORE. THIS IS WHY LOOKING AT AN OLD PHOTOGRAPH OFTEN GIVES ME A NOSTALGIC, YES EVEN MELANCHOLIC FEELING. A SENSE OF LOSS. THIS IS ALSO WHY ROSS WATSON IS SUCH AN UNIQUE ARTIST. BECASEU HE MANAGED TO CAPTURE THAT SENSE OF LIFE IN HIS PAINTINGS LIKE NO OTHER.
In 1984 Ross Watson was invited to do a solo exhibition in the Acland Street Gallery in Melbourne. An invitation that would turn his life upside down and triggered the transformation from the then 22 year old Australian trompe l’oeils painter in designer kitchens sold at Harrods to the world famous artist he is today. It is not just a matter of chance. It is also a matter of exceptional talent and vision that has made Ross Watson what he is today.
Although Ross Watson is capable in creating stunning paintings in all kinds of settings, he is probably most known by his unique ability of integrating details and – yes – even complete compositions from old masters in his art. Dutch Golden Age painters such as Jacob van Ruisdael, Jan Vermeer, Gerard ter Borch are a source of inspiration for the Australian painter/photographer, but also the works of Italian master Caravaggio are no stanger to Ross Watson’s art. In a clever and unique way, Ross has found a way to bring these old masterpieces back to life, completing them with his own vision and, by doing so, creating paintings in paitings. We admire old paintings often because of the artistic vision and techniques, the beauty. Ross Watson injects a whole new level of humanity and life to his work. Vibrant colors, subtle sensuality and often 21st century elements link classic backdrops to our current digital era and provoke a smile and a wink.
Scissor Sisters front man Jake Shears, athletes Brodie Holland, Paul Licuria and Matthew Mitcham, gay adult icons François Sagat and Alex Baresi. Famous names that graze some of Ross Watson’s best-known works. But Ross’ models are not all celebrities. As it is the case with many artists, Ros Watson needs to have a certain attraction to his models. There needs to be a connection in order for him to bring out the most intimate emotions of his subjects. And so it happens that many of his paintings feature men that are no celebrities and sometimes even new to modeling. But one thing that links them all together is their look. Healthy, tanned and athletic, full of life and radiating an almost casual sexuality and sensuality. And it is this unique ingredient that Ross Watson had brought to the art of painting, that elevates his work to a level of reality that old masterpieces so often misses.
In Untitled# Ross Watson collects a large amount of his stunning portraits in a variety of galleries. Untitled# is a high quality photobook, edited and published by Bruno Gmünder Verlag, and appears in 224 full color pages with a hard cover with dust jacket. The book takes the reader on an exciting voyage through a universe created by the artist introducing him to different eras and perspectives. Such as Classic Novo and Galerie Des Glaces, where Ross Watson’s portrays his models in clever combination with a background of classic art pieces, Aquisitions Actual, where Ross creates a real world with surreal elements and that carries influences from the 20th century pop art style, and Myth and Reality, where Ross Watson allows his audience to re-discover old masters in a most contemporary way. Untitled# by Ross Watson is an absolute must for the admires of modern art and male physique beauty. –BM-