Artist James Bartolacci’s upcoming exhibition Life Without Night brings us back to pre-pandemic nightlife and queer club self-expression.
Confessional and intimate, the paintings place us firmly in our near-past, when fleeting moments with strangers and friends inside club walls were taken for granted.
A statement from the site of the exhibition, London’s Taymour Grahne Projects, states that each work “honours the production of an evening out.” Additionally, they frame and recreate quiet moments in bedrooms and bathrooms before and after the main event.
Rendered in pastels and oils, the works were created as a collaboration with each of their subjects. Friends of the artist styled themselves and told stories of past nightlife experiences, informing the pieces as Bartolacci worked. Scenes depict the series’ queer subjects sharing moments of closeness on the dancefloor.
Others portray the aftermath, discarded drinks awash with neon light. Pulsing music and body heat emanate from the pieces.
The gallery explains that the collaboration with Bartolacci’s subjects was crucial to the final product,
“Offering an expanded insight into each person through their bedroom ephemera… the works gesture to the labour and devotion involved in creating a nocturnal look.”
Life Without Night is a tangible reminder of the inherently artistic, cathartic and transformational aspects of queer nightlife culture.
Check out some of the works from the series below:
Life Without Night is showing at Taymour Grahne Projects’ Holland Park Gallery
June 12th-July 14th 2021
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