Duets

April 17–May, 2013
Rubicon ARI
Level 1 / 309 Queensberry Street
Melbourne Vic 3000
Australia

Download exhibition catalogue (PDF, 5mb)

Duets explores communication and cooperation, and what happens when these go wrong. O’Carrigan depicts figures in high-stress situations, with no means of clear communication. Removed of speech and context, all that is left is gesture: the viewer left to interpret the figure’s body language.

By choosing awkward moments, where the subject expresses private feelings between frames and takes, it seems as though O’Carrigan is betraying his heroes. Instead, what O’Carrigan gives us is the moment where the subjects show how they feel when they cannot speak it. There are two sides to this show. Duets are taken from ridiculous interviews aptly portrayed with a hint of caricature. In contrast to the playfully nonsensical on-screen meltdowns are foreboding scenes of impending violent conflict. Musicians are suddenly recruiting for the war effort. Slapstick fugitives are in Dresden, or Hiroshima. O’Carrigan gives us altered histories versus Hollywood tropes.

The combination of these threads exhibited together seems to suggest an escalation of conflict seeded in confusion. What is meant is not always what is heard, or other powers bend the meaning to their will. When words fail us, the pen is no longer mightier than the sword.

22 April 2013
Enlist! (Zappa / Stravinsky)

Enlist! (Zappa / Stravinsky)
Oil on canvas, 150 x 120 cm
2013

Right, can we do it again? (Molly Meldrum / Bon Scott)

Right, can we do it again? (Molly Meldrum / Bon Scott)
Oil on linen, 36 x 36 cm
2012

It’s like a destruction – rebirth. (Tommy Iommi)

It’s like a destruction – rebirth. (Tony Iommi)
Oil on linen, 25 x 25 cm
2012

I was expected to live up to the press. (John Lydon)

I was expected to live up to the press. (John Lydon)
Oil on canvas, 80 x 60 cm
2013

David, he taught me how to compromise. (Iggy Pop / Molly Meldrum)

David, he taught me how to compromise. (Iggy Pop / Molly Meldrum)
Oil on canvas, 80 x 60 cm
2013

Suicide is slow with liquor...in actual fact he died from hypothermia in his car (Ozzy Osbourne)

Suicide is slow with liquor…in actual fact he died from hypothermia in his car (Ozzy Osbourne)
Oil on canvas, 36 x 26 cm
2012

They’re cutting the beaks off penguins, down in L.A., did you know that? (Beefheart / Letterman)

They’re cutting the beaks off penguins, down in L.A., did you know that? (Beefheart / Letterman)
Oil on canvas, 76 x 56 cm
2013

A lot of what I do is just inane, ridiculous – I’m a nerd. (Iggy Pop)

A lot of what I do is just inane, ridiculous – I’m a nerd. (Iggy Pop)
Oil on linen, 36 x 36 cm
2012

Do you know what keel hauling is? (Janis Joplin / Dick Cavett)

Do you know what keel hauling is? (Janis Joplin / Dick Cavett)
Oil on canvas, 80 x 60 cm
2013

20 April 2013
Duets

Review of Duets in Three Thousand

Duets is a series of paintings of rockstars in awkward interviews by Simon O’Carrigan, opening on Tuesday at Rubicon ARI. I am excited about this because once I start watching interviews of famous people on Youtube I just can’t stop. It’s because of the fascinating tension between a celebrity’s efforts to maintain a likeable ‘persona’ and the awkwardness of the media interview format. These potential crisis points are what the artist has honed in on in his paintings. Celebrity subjects featured include Bon Scott, Frank Zappa, Igor Stravinsky, Janis Joplin, Iggy Pop, Ozzy Osbourne, Tom Waits, Johnny Rotten, Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum, David Letterman and Dick Cavett – depicted in decidedly unflattering scenarios. Sounds like some good, mean fun!

—Claire Connors, Three Thousand

White Light / White Heat (Talkin’ World War III Paranoid Blues)

White Light / White Heat (Talkin’ World War III Paranoid Blues)
Oil on linen, 91 x 122 cm
2012

17 April 2013
Motion Picture #2 (Stab)

Motion Picture #2 (Stab)
Oil on linen, 50 x 70 cm
2012

Live Broadcast (The Duet)

Live Broadcast (The Duet)
Oil on linen, 54 x 108 cm
2012

Motion Picture #1 (Sidekick)

Motion Picture #1 (Sidekick)
Oil on linen, 57 x 52 cm
2012

Yes. Hello. (Iggy Pop)

Yes. Hello. (Iggy Pop)
Ink on paper, 50 x 35 cm (unframed)
2013

Burt Reynolds Has Those Shoes, They Cost Fifteen Bucks (Tom Waits)

Burt Reynolds Has Those Shoes, They Cost Fifteen Bucks (Tom Waits)
Oil on canvas, 36 x 26 cm
2012

8 April 2013
Michael Dwyer, Score, The Age, 8/4/13

Michael Dwyer, Score, The Age, 8/4/13

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1 January 2013
MISC Magazine, Spring 2013

MISC Magazine, Spring 2013