The Rotational Gallery, Dubai
Simon Coates is an English artist originally from London and now relocated to Dubai. The images and objects he creates balance the freedom of action and/or abstract expressionism with an academic approach to both his work’s themes and their execution.
A fascination with viscera and primal manifestation run throughout the work, imbuing them with added dimensions of disquiet and disconcertion. In terms of reference points, there are those that have noted Francis Bacon, Velasquez and Goya influences in Coates’ paintings, although real references include the Viennese Actionist Hermann Nitsch, cartoonist Gerald Scarfe and painter Robert Lenkiewicz.
Coates’ work is broadly organised into projects, with titles like Rexia, Rock-A-My-Soul and Our Lady of Guadelupe, amongst others. Although primarily a painter, Coates also works in sound, three dimensions (sculpture and installation), in digital imagery and in printworks. He was educated at art colleges in Plymouth and London.
The Project Works: 2010 – 2011 solo exhibition showcases a number of original paintings, fine art prints and digital prints selected to present a taste of Coates’ work.
The exhibition includes work conceived and executed during Coates’ residency at this year’s Sikka Art Fair in Bastakiya, Dubai, and are on public display for the first time. The Sikka Art Fair is the fringe festival that runs parallel to Art Dubai.
The Rexia IV: What’s Up Doc? painting was created during the ten-day residency and is based on a scene from the 1972 Barbra Streisand film, What’s Up Doc? The four prints, Plugs 1.1, Plugs 2.0, Wall 1.0 and Chair, are of digital collages created from scans of the Bastakiya studio used during the residency.