Marcus Cope - Female Rage and Modern Cars (with Stephanie Moran)
November 7 - November 30, 2008
This final exhibition at Sartorial's Notting Hill space also acts as a form of closure for the two artists, a metaphoric burning of the debris left in your room by an ex-lover. They recently spent a year with an old flame; there were long lethargic sun-drenched days, drunken nights with cheap Spanish wine and dodgy ouzo, nostalgic trips to archaeological sites. But the fact is those candlelit dinners don't come for free. So they dumped Cyprus (again) to get back with the fast and loose big smoke of London.
Cope and Moran share a studio, for the past year they have been living the same life - going to the same beaches, seeing the same banana trees, driving the same scooter, looking at each other's paintings every day. Their practices are very different, but there is an inevitable leakage between them, a dialogue of colour and imagery, arguments of style. A rabbit-masked figure answered by a cat-headed goddess, a reference to Josephine Baker replied with a grass-skirted carnival dancer, slapstick comedy retorting dark humour. Or is there?
In Marcus' paintings Americana-tinged objects and phrases become less like separate things, they get tangled up in the paintings marks and multilayered surfaces.
Cope works in an automatic way, splashing and scribbling the paint, building up complex images with a cartoonish sensibilty, with mutant characters developing themselves and displaying an underlying subtle humour.
A review of their work in the Cyprus Mail Sunday supplement in February this year was titled 'Female Rage and Model Cars':
Cope and Moran usually collaborate on curating projects, including The Circus Show at Three Colts Gallery and Disturbing Eye at Pink Stallion, London; they are currently organising the second Marmite Prize for Painting at studio 1.1. This is the first duo show of their paintings in England.