The decorator always gets paid least

Ross Taylor


Online Viewing Room

We are delighted to invite you on Wednesday, February 12, starting 7 pm to the opening of the exhibition “The decorator always gets paid least”, Ross Taylor’s second solo show at Ivan Gallery.

“Whilst staring at the vacant space where some kind of office unit once stood, a tea bag was flicked and landed not so far from the mid-room-based-bin-bag puddle ≈ By it’s flimsy handle the decorator swung an unused 10L tub of trade matt vinyl dangerously towards the wall and clumsily maneuvered into a viewing position, knees almost touching the sacred patch. Pulling out the bloated scabby Billabong wallet ∆ that was wedged in a back pocket, the decorator eased a discomfort before immediately running a hand over the gnarled surface; the years old plaster and faded cutting-in read like a luxuriously cheap glossy catalogue. The surface held all manner of annotations, 73 cm from here, call John g, and recorded a thousand scratches ∏ and marks and ridges, which aroused within the decorator a memory of the others who had similarly rubbed their rough sausage fingers ( ) along each vein and join. It made the decorator think beyond decorating, beyond old dustsheets and early grey headed starts, beyond stupid routines, and even beyond one’s self. It threw the decorator through a lifetime of events; all of the strange birthday parties, and all the people at those parties, and the strange conversations with all those people. Then coming in to work the next day and feeling like a holy fool. Seeing the wall in all forms and guises, feeling how a tasty gloss crust responded directly to the looping ∫ sub-cortical structures, where pink render plugs and interlocks each part of the experience and works like a patch ∞ of condensation, moving in and out of the surface. Moving in and out ◊ of the decorator, playing a part within a cannibalistic process wherein every surface experienced, past, present or future, is immediately connected to one another and only becoming truly visible when passing within view of every prepared wall he’d stroked ~

≈ wet trade
when something dry is mixed with something wet

∆ billabong wallet
a chunky yet exotic spicy blimp, swilling and churning dual sphere of production and consumption, where all that enters is incessantly gnawed, singed and regurgitated by a deadly inside zip. The wallet-cave is the stomach and the podgy fingertips that enter it are its antimony. When, very rarely, I can make a pleasing mark with a larger full brush, employing every bristle to correspondingly dump at it’s core and scratch at it’s edges, I stand up and stop painting and watch patiently for a few seconds how this shape shifting, thought-forming body snatcher passes through the studio.

∏ (doing a) Sredni Vashtar
the first traces of the long toothed Hutch Lord are commonly recognized from its savage grip around the edge of a painting (or wall, or slither of time), before fixing onto it, sinking its thin fangs at the edges of this plane. Its sticky claws leave a fluctuating perimeter, creating a border that simultaneously works to form a space behind, or a realm in which the painting levitates. Sreddy V, invented deity, restless, feral idol of all bad habits. Created by you no less, twisted from objects made from boredom, from damage, from self-damage and internal mutterings. The kinds of actions and behaviours that belong to the margins of your day where you pick and scratch, wait and stare – to let your attentions be removed from the matter at hand.

( ) stomach carpet
Every spot, stain, blob, blot, freckle and blotch has its own shadow fuzz somewhere in the surface. It is the residue of mundane actions; a floating underlay seeped in fizz that follows every recorded movement of the brush and creates a phantom pair.

∫ The Electric Dragon of Venus
When I see a grim man pissing and spitting concurrently into a urinal, and when I see the long stretch of spit appears to be connected to his lips and the basin at the very same moment, a carved line arises in my mind which arcs between two points and completes itself when returning to the beginning. His lips are at the beginning of the sequence, yet pressed against the bleachy porcelain Hexfoil, stinky and warm never ending somnambulist line that existed far before the surface it is sprayed onto.

∞ cheese rub
All painting owe its origins to a manky kitchen worktop. Stubbornly wiped with a dry dirty tea towel, wiping the areas that can only be seen, smearing bits of cheese and grease into the surface and dulling the glossy top. Zombie-wipes, that skirt the luminous plastic bottles of chilli sauce and piled pizza and ribs leaflets. A marbled grate for the soul, paradoxical dream net where only the condensations of dairy appreciation and self-service appear to you. An ever so slightly denser blotch of paint that has dried long enough to form a skin and is then softly brushed with perhaps an arm sleeve, breaking the surface and dragging the still wet interior out of the original perimeter to create a kind of ghost belly.

◊ the wanderer
A small silhouette makes its way up a hill in the end of the day’s light and closes in on a small copse on top of a hill. The eggy drifter is set to enter the unknown space ahead, an emergent space, which maintains the hallucinations, patterns and images that unlock the biological happenings and evolutionary knowledge that the artistic journey encapsulates. The solitary character represents all of the ambiguity of the creative process, the last human connected to the beginnings of consciousness.

~ baby wipe rinse
Soggy languid baby wipes float around the world, seeking an oil to keep them useful. They cannot hear much or see very far but drift and hug any sleek surface close to the floor. The dirty gloss of the hall way skirting, the dirty glass beside the bed-head. Half-drank and clouded by soggy dust and etched fingerprints, scanning for objects from the background that lie for days unnoticed.”

(Ross Taylor)

Ross Taylor (b. 1982, London) lives and works in London and completed his MA (Painting) at The Royal College of Art, London, in 2008. In 2018 he was selected as artist-in-residence at The Edward James Foundation, West Sussex, and between 2015-16 was the Abbey Scholar in Painting at the British School at Rome, Italy. Recent exhibitions and performances include “The studio at 4am”, Hastings Contemporary, East Sussex, UK, 2020: “Feeling BLOB”, for ALW on, TACO, London, 2019; “Sightings”, Caraboo, Bristol, 2018; “Dialogues: New Painting from London”, GASK, Kutna Hora, Czech Republic, 2018; “Reading as Rhythm”, Tate Liverpool, UK, 2018; “A spicy migraine grease”, Larsen Warner, Stockholm, Sweden, 2018. Taylor’s work is held in several collections including the Handelsbanken collection, Sweden, The British School at Rome, Italy and the Edward James Trust, UK, and private collections in Europe.

The exhibition can be visited until 28th of March 2020, Wednesday to Saturday, 12-18, or by appointment outside the visiting hours.


Photo credits: Cătălin Georgescu


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