This artwork depicts a woman with seemingly limitless golden locks wading in a gooey sea beside an oil rig. Dressed in a swimsuit, the subject appears to have command of the setting as she dons a pasta bow-tie crown.
In his intimate artworks, Stephen Polatch dissolves the complex hierarchy between natural, architectural, and human through compositions that offer unsettled and disorienting vantage points or surreal twists. Polatch combines many historical references in his off-kilter scenes, all of which take place in his native Glasgow.
Stephen Polatch dissolves the complex hierarchy of the natural, architectural, and human, all set within the urban milieu of Glasgow. His diminutive egg-tempera paintings operate on contrasting registers, mixing his pigments on the canvas’ surface to yield tender depictions of the micro and mundane, yet via compositions that offer unsettled and disorienting vantage points or surreal twists. Polatch combines a wide range of historical references—from the lyricism and symbolic imagery of medieval illuminated manuscripts to the repetitive mechanics of Futurism—within his interconnected systems, allowing him to continue discovering something new within views of the familiar.
Stephen Polatch was born in 1990 in London, UK, and currently lives and works in Glasgow, UK. He received his BFA from The Ruskin School of Art in Oxford, UK (2013) before studying at the Royal Drawing School in London, UK.
He has mounted recent solo exhibitions at Margot Samel in New York City, NY (2022) and Soft Opening in London, UK (2022).
Polatch has been featured in group exhibitions such as Viscereal at Althuis Hofland in Amsterdam, NL (2022); Even a Cat Can Look at the Queen at Mrs. in Maspeth, NY (2022); To be a giant and keep quiet about it at Yee Society in Hong Kong (2022); To be a giant and keep quiet about it at Margot Samel in New York, NY (2022); Prestwick II at New Glasgow Society East in Glasgow, UK (2022); and Peepers at K Halstead in London, UK (2021).