ash and water
‘Gareth Ernst’s work focuses on the intimate and fleeting, on mortality, desire, surveillance, and masculinity. Like the writings of Jean Genet, Gareth Ernst’s paintings, drawings and videos are illicit love letters. They deal with the secret and the underground, touching on the pornographic and the criminal. They are rapid, urgent and complete, revealing secret Worlds parallel to our own.
His studies of the human form are uncompromising and direct. Gareth’s work disrupts the tradition of idealising the male form, and instead uses it as a vehicle for exploring the themes of power, vulnerability and innocence. He often achieves this through unorthodox pop culture inclusions and juxtapositions with medieval memento mori symbols—Darth Vader masks, leaked police surveillance videos, stuffed Pokémon dolls and even nibbling mice dress his works. For his audience, these juxtapositions are destabilising and contradictory, creating tension with the erotic charge of the subject’s exposure.
Gareth has completed his Fine Arts degree in Drawing (Honours) at the National Art School and is currently a Masters student at the National Art School specialising in Painting.’
Porsche Herbert Funk