Infestation 1997 - HOBIE PORTER
Mixed media on canvas
2.4m x 5m
Can be sold as two parts.
$10000 left pair panels / $10000 right pair panels
For the first time in 26 years, a major early career painting by artist Hobie Porter is on exhibition. It has belonged in the private collection of local collector, Phillip Riolo. The work, titled ‘Infestation’, will be on display at Mist Gallery in Cabarita Beach between 22nd December to 4th January
Porter recalls that it was in mid 1997 when he was returning from his 6 month exchange program to the Pratt institute, New York City, facilitated by Southern Cross University, Lismore. “I returned to Australia to finish my B.A. (visual art) and knew I wanted to produce a painting that was impactful for our student graduation exhibition.“
The work contains a myriad of material, ranging from oil paint to subway posters. Porter explains “while in NYC, I got into the habit of peeling thickly layered posters off the subway walls to add to my personal collection. I thought of the posters as a raw type of visual and cultural poetry and I started collaging them into my paintings as if they were infiltrating the landscape.”
Infestation is an ambitious piece which represents the environmental damage wrought by an onslaught of introduced species within his local environment, the Tweed Valley. “I encountered an enormous paint-encrusted Monet at the MoMA and was itching to attempt something at scale upon my return to Australia. Having lived in a built-up city like New York, I felt compelled to combine my concerns around environmental philosophy with monumentality”, he said. The work is just under 5 metres in length and features rainforest landscapes inspired from the artist’s family home, populated with depictions of exotic fish, cats, foreign flora and refuse such as rusted-out fire buckets.
Infestation “…was an important precursor to the work that I’ve become known for, not only in that the landscapes I depict are often filled with representations of items that I collect from such places, but also that I tend to dwell upon the environmental impacts that I see within a postcolonial era” Hobie elaborated.
Collector, Phillip Riolo commented on his initial attraction to Infestation: “Hobie’s depiction of the Mt Warning region affected by man's careless pollution of the rainforest and the ongoing effects of climate change, made me feel this is a very important, beautiful painting.