Chris Orr, Divine Comedy – not waving but drowning (2018)

chris-orr-divine-comedy-not-waving-but-drowning“As part of the ongoing Academicians in Focus series, The Miserable Lives of Fabulous Artists exhibition presents around 28 new unique works on paper by Chris Orr RA. His eclectic range of subjects includes some of the great names from art history, such as John Constable, Vincent van Gogh, Edward Hopper, Frida Kahlo, Edvard Munch, Jackson Pollock and Pablo Picasso, all of whom he depicts using a characteristically humorous visual language. With extraordinary attention to detail, Orr portrays each artist in a scenario that elaborates inventively around well known elements of their life and art.

“‘Artists have a lonely job and success is often elusive,’ says Orr. ‘Life in the studio is not all it’s cracked up to be, but it is there that dross can be turned into gold. Each of my Miseries is subjected to the cliché and reputations that haunt them.

“‘In his paintings and etchings Reginald Marsh gave us a vision of a dystopian ‘utopia’ in Manhattan and on Coney Island Beach. […] There are photographs of Marsh drawing at Coney Island, dressed in a grey flannel suit – a very different outfit to the holidaymakers. He stands like Dante on his epic journey, observing the bodies of the tormented souls around him.'” — Artwork description from Royal Academy Shop

See more of Chris Orr’s work on his website.

Contributed by Claudia Rossignoli