In his paintings, Ziegler carefully reproduces his digitised models entirely by hand; each painstakingly rendered shape reveals tell-tale traces of the artist’s intervention. In The Grand Cause, Ziegler’s abstracted sunset subverts the rigidity of graphic design with the spontaneity of painterly expression. Vying between concentrated detail and intuitive mark-making, the perfunctory qualities of his repetitive patterning evolve as personalised statements of authenticity and affectation. Defiling the gold leaf surface with materiality of paint, Ziegler capitalises on the rich and luxurious quality of his ground to draw connotations to beauty and the grotesque.
Toby Ziegler’s paintings and sculptures engage with ideas of the exotic and synthetic. Fabricating his images and sculptural blueprints on a computer, traditional motifs such as landscapes, still lifes, and cultural artefacts are removed from the familiarity of popular consciousness and reconfigured as templates of abstracted information. Inspired by a set of Victorian Staffordshire figurines, The Liberals (3rd Version) is made from intersecting cardboard panels; the kitsch subject matter and lowly materials take on a monumental quality, like futuristically designed sphinxes.