Andrew Beck: Distortions

26 April - 26 May 2019

Reflected morning light dancing on the ceiling of a bedroom; a crack of light spilling into a darkened corridor from a door left ajar; sunlight refracting on facet of glass - moments like these which would normally be so fleeting, ephemeral and slight, here appear static, crystalline.


The varying phenomena of light form the basis of work by Wellington-based photographic artist Andrew Beck. And while a preoccupation with light in photography is nothing new, what sets Beck's work apart is that light does not simply form the subject in his work. Beck, unlike conventional photographers, does not capture such moments by the way of a lens; instead, he painstakingly reconstructs these moments with a methodology which is more like that of a painter or sculptor.


Beck's work occupies a space between conventional painting and photography, both in terms of its construction and the objects themselves. Utilizing cameraless photography (photograms) along with paintings and objects, he creates two- and three-dimensional works around concerns of space and light (or rather indexical signs thereof).


Moreover, the image-objects that Beck creates are not straight representations of light play. Often what we see in his work are embellishments - things or moments that would otherwise be physical impossibilities. In his work we see three-dimensional space is treated as if it were two-dimensional, through the use of forced or isometric perspectives (as a would-be inversion of photography); or light refracting in a manner ornate and wholly unnatural - perhaps as a way to articulate a passage of time in static form, or to show light as something solid, something jewel-like.  




Andrew Beck (b. 1987, Tauranga) currently lives and works in Wellington. He graduated with a Master of Fine Arts from College of Creative Arts, Massey University, Wellington in 2011. Since graduating his work has been shown in New Zealand, Australia, Germany, France, China and Japan. Exhibition highlights include major exhibitions such as Emanations (curated by Geoffrey Batchen), Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, The Devil's Blind Spot, Christchurch Art Gallery and The Specious Present (curated by Tina Barton), Adam Art Gallery, Wellington. Beck continues to exhibit widely in New Zealand and overseas and his works are held in major public and private collections both nationally and internationally. In November 2019 he will be an artist-in-residence at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in Miami, FL.