Colors and chaos distinguish the work of Doug Bartlett, the pseudonym given to the collaborative artistic process shared by Nick Morris and Dave Bowers. Cluttered, in-your-face imagery sends viewers spiraling back to memories from childhood, to a time when billboards and magazines inundated our simpler senses but never failed to draw us in with promises of more to see. Classic comic book fonts mingle with celebrity faces and scratchy handwriting, but it works! Looking at Bartlett’s art is like being hurdled directly into the center of Consumerism’s brain before it realizes it’s selling anything.
The pandemonium is appealing. Morris and Bowers work together, or rather against each other, layering paint upon print, until together as Bartlett, they agree that the work is done. They take the thought out of the thinking (get it?) and effectively splatter the contents of a collective brain on a canvas, without trying to explain anything. But the Bowers half of Barnett says it best:
“I get a huge kick out of sharing canvases because of the chaotic momentum. Working alone you can sometimes labour over a detail for hours, but with a shared canvas, someone else (Doug) will just boldly paint right over it and I’ll think, ‘what a bloody relief.’ ”
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