Barry Reigate’s riotous canvases are pop porn at its best. Envisioning a Russ Meyers-like heaven, Reigate’s paintings disseminate a hilarious bachelor night bravado, where disembodied breasts, party favourites, and cartoon ephemera become the objects of satiation for fumbling, letchy Mickey Mouse hands. Presenting the macho fetishism of painting with a humorous twist, Reigate embraces the abjection of Philip Guston, George Condo, and Sean Landers; his debased subject providing a critical allegory for art historical attitudes as well as current cultural zeitgeist.
Merging the seamless gloss of graphic design with the integrity of expressionism, Reigate’s jumbled compositions celebrate great painting as much as the fine art of titty groping. Executed over ultra-flat airbrushed skies, masses of gargantuan breasts are monumentalised and given tangible weight through thick, creamy impasto, formally interspersed with colourful motifs of comic folly. Equating the act of painting itself to a certain depravity, Reigate revels in executing squiggly brush marks, phallic smears, and generously indulgent highlights, ensuring the viewer knows every inch of his canvas has been thoroughly man-handled.
In sharing his own mammophiliac predilections, Reigate approaches high art production with an earnest dumbness, enshrining the most basic instincts of desire and horror in all their awkward, puerile, and embarrassing glory. Reigate revives the primitivism 20th c. artistic inspiration and the ghetto-ised attitudes of cultural hierarchy as a zombie-esque parody, creating his own numina, monsters, and totems from the seedy juju of contemporary schmaltz.