Josh Raz (b.1994) is a Newcastle-based British painter. He studied at Newcastle University, graduating in 2016.
Whilst his work is rooted in figuration, the land that his figures inhibit is otherworldly, with twisting geometric patterns and warped perspective, seeming to recall Albert Irvin’s landscape-based approach to abstraction. His unique way of seeing weaves between the real and imagined, resulting in stage-like vistas into an uncanny parallel world.
Raz’s work questions the authority of imagery and how well that imagery is able to articulate reality, with the fleeting-flood of imagery we see on a daily basis; Raz paintings highlight this gulf and identify how painting contains the knowledge that is produced by the hand.
Beneath veils of accessible narrative, beneath sleek interfaces and narrowed periphery, the complexities of true fact continue to bubble. Yet when substituted for a simplified version, fact becomes simulation, a malleable imposter lacking the integrity of the original. And so reality is experiencing a period of atrophy. In neglecting to question artificial narrative, artificial intelligence and one’s own increasingly artificial existence, the significance of reality is withering.
Raz’s practice considers the dependability of the image, and by extension its ability to articulate reality. His paintings contemplate both the empirical and implicit qualities of an image, object or environment. This results in an oxymoronic surface, one that oscillates between cohesion and chaos.
In 2016 Joshua Raz was the winner of the prestigious London gallery HIX award.
Exhibitions at Gallagher & Turner:
21st March - 27th April 2019