Raz’s work questions the veracity of the two-dimensional image with spliced, angular landscapes and warped perspective paintings. Burnished auburn and gold often neighbour dark blues and purples in an autumnal palette that symbolises visual atrophy: the fulcrum of Raz’s aesthetic philosophy.
Josh Raz's paintings acknowledge that reality is experiencing a period of atrophy: in neglecting to question artificial narrative, artificial intelligence and one’s own increasingly artificial existence, the significance of reality is withering. One lives vicariously through flat interfaces, and thus they are treated as the primary sources of empirical truth. Raz's paintings unpick the dependability of the two-dimensional image with spliced landscapes and warped perspectives: Raz acknowledges the authority with which we endow images, and subverts it through paint.
Raz's recent work hypothesises the symptoms of prioritising individualism over community. One’s individual identity has become the salient measure of one’s self-worth. Perhaps this modern anthropological shift can be held accountable for most of society’s ills: platforms that offer the illusion of community whilst only truly catering for the individual; the diminishing cultural presence of love; the antiquation of collectives; the commandments of those collectives that remain, becoming fierce and polarising.
These ailments exist concurrently with a zeitgeist of feeling increasingly secondary, or even insignificant, within a swelling population. When one’s ostensibly unique desires can be quantified, categorised and manipulated by the systems that govern our lives, it becomes increasingly difficult not to feel like an outline on the periphery's of someone else's conscious.
Josh Raz is a Newcastle-based British painter, born in 1993. In 2016, Josh graduated from Newcastle University and was the winner of the prestigious London gallery HIX award. Joshua exhibited at Gallagher & Turner in early 2019 and last August Unit Uncovers showcased Josh’s unique, fractured perspective at Unit London.