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Reasonable Doubt - 2009

Part of 21st century living is Urban Living and in these times most live in big cities. The days of happily living in small rural towns is almost part of history and ...

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Part of 21st century living is Urban Living and in these times most live in big cities. The days of happily living in small rural towns is almost part of history and this is a worldwide phenomena, a phenomena which young artist Tyrone Layne is vitally interested in.

“I paint large groups of people which reflect and capture a Culture. These people and their surroundings can become symbols or motifs of what determines or shapes a nation. These paintings I hope also celebrate in the main the New Zealand urban environment where I live and paint” says first time exhibitor Tyrone Layne.

Layne graduated in Design, majoring in Painting in 2007, as a teenager. He embarks upon his first Solo Show, “Reasonable Doubt” in October this year. As a developing figurative artist Layne has moved gradually from a surrealist style of dreamy figurative cloudscapes and seascapes to more realistic depictions of peopled landscapes. British Painter, Laurence Stephen Lowry’s 20th century depictions of the teeming masses hurrying from Manchester factories to train stations had little kinship with urban New Zealand, but comparisons could be made with these 21st century antipodean streetscapes.

Both artists have depicted local people, some real, some imagined, going about their business in a real place. In Layne’s case we see pedestrians crossing in unison at four Auckland city intersections, a crowded beachscape, busy art gallery openings and the hypothetical work “Nightmare at the Britomart Train Station” which is a nod to one of Layne’s influences the Flemish painter Pieter Brueghel. The people are more “symbols” or “motifs” of humanity but their presence is relevant, real and topical.

Figurative painting has experienced a revival in the last 30 years but many late 20th century New Zealand painters reveal in the main un-peopled landscapes – artists such as Don Binney, Michael Smither, Graham Sydney, Bill Sutton, Brent Wong, Peter Siddell followed McCahon’s tradition of by-passing the figurative aspect to the environment.

The younger generation are inextricably linked to an urban culture, living in a millennium where modern communication means travel is reduced and children live and grow up in cities. More artists indicate their work is heavily influenced by this urban environment and “big city” lifestyle.

Nevertheless, painting highly detailed paintings with over 100 figures, takes time. These meticulous paintings take months to complete and Layne’s first exhibition will only total around 7 paintings.

“Being represented by a Gallery in New York is a dream and a serious goal” says Layne. “I have projected a future vision onto canvas of my opening night at a world class dealer gallery in New York – specifically Anton Kern Gallery in Chelsea, New York. Another depicts the opening of a group show of leading artists in Karangahape Road in Auckland”.

Layne has set goals for the future and if his dedication and patience pays off – who knows – he might achieve them.

Three of Layne’s paintings were exhibited at the Auckland Art Fair in May this year and created enormous interest.

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