Modern Immodest is a solo exhibition of photorealistic portrait paintings by Durham-based artist, Adam Narcross.
Narcross, a self-taught artist, utilizes oil on canvas or wood in order to present themes of subtle subversion in contemporary life. His work hones in on the dichotomies between competing meanings of our learned visual language, and formal socialized, linguistic concepts. Perception, philosophy, and psychology are significant influences when exploring ideas within his paintings. Much can be articulated around issues of social identity, beauty, presence, human relationships and wider values relating to a place within a moral or ethical framework.
Reminiscent of 17th century Dutch still life painting, the totality of each artwork is revealed through the symbols it contains. Presented as photorealistic portrait paintings and still lives, Narcross challenges accepted norms and investigates themes of social inclusion, exclusion, and how quotidien objects can be weighted with symbolic definitions. Many of his paintings are of women, very often friends and fellow artists, who hold a direct gaze with the viewer. This is a gaze that historically has been reserved for men and those in power, as it gives the sitter a commanding presence. Narcross utilizes this language of art history, via the gaze and other symbolic imagery, to give the women in his paintings authority, as active participants, and not passive subjects. In this way, Narcross creates an impactful statement about bodily autonomy, social constructs of power, and definitions of beauty.
CAM Lower Gallery
Narcross’s art education draws from several years of amalgamating a fondness of history, literature, science, and cinema iconography. He questions Western traditionalist art, and the revered canon, and further investigates the perspectives of Eastern cultures to formulate themes in his work. His paintings are created at Golden Belt art studios, where they are open to public viewing. Recent exhibitions include 311 Gallery in Raleigh, and The Durham Fruit.
Oil on Canvas