In all of his work, Slattery attempts to balance indifference with sincerity; over time, he has established a lexicon of veiled references that indicate the subjects’ connection to his personal life. Slattery’s latest subject is one of his girlfriend’s best male friends, Dre. In this suite of observational paintings, Slattery avoids the distancing or framing devices that he has previously employed. These naked works develop his overall project of exposing his vulnerability as an artist by exploring categories and genres that appear loaded or problematic. Working through a situation not coded by either a typical male gaze (a heterosexual male artist painting a woman) or a homoerotic one, in Dre, Slattery is attempting to simply look, with as much attention and tenderness as possible.
Jackson Slattery currently lives and works in Melbourne and Montréal. At their core, his paintings are realistic renderings of subject matter usually drawn from photographs and often integrated into compositional structures that involve (or mimic) collage techniques. For Slattery, photorealism poses a challenge that extends from the predicament of painting in general, as he questions why we are compelled to make and look at paintings, and why images produced by hand still fascinate us.
Recent solo exhibitions include La Dronne, with André Piguet, at Gertrude Glasshouse (Melbourne, 2018), Grey Speckled Question Marks, Sutton Gallery (Melbourne, 2017), Points d’interrogations blancs, soon.tw (Montréal, 2016), and Burning Your Furniture to Have the Warmest House in the Street, with Kieren Seymour, at Alaska Projects (Sydney, 2015).