Project Overview

Observed from an overhead camera, a man stops by the roadside one morning and empties the contents of a number of large cans of paint over the tarmac. There is no-one else around, and barely any sound, apart from a rising hum of approaching traffic. The first vehicles to appear take avoiding action, as if swerving a puddle or a spillage. But as the roadway becomes progressively splattered (its two-lane blacktop transformed into an after-a-downpour rainbow canvas) there is nothing else for it but to drive on through, the cars’ wheel tracks creating a spreading smear of abstract vibrant colour. George Barber is well known for his scratch-video cut-ups and for digital paintbox collages (such as 1001 Colours Andy Never Thought Of) that playfully pastiche the pantheon of Pop Art. In Automotive Action Painting, the subject of Barber’s mischievous humour is the legacy of Abstract Expressionism – the macho mythos of the cult of the ‘drip painting’ overridden by the workaday banalities of the machine.


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