View article in Patron Magazine.
“Let’s do a little cabinectomy here,” Bob Ross instructs his viewers as he scrapes a palette knife from the bottom of a the newly painted cabin amongst a lush and wonderful landscape. Here we find one of Neil Raitt’s preferred Bob Ross-isms. His distinctly patterned canvases – inspired by Bob Ross and his cult-classic television program “The Joy of Painting” – mend digital age visual language and approachable landscapes picked from the multitude of Bob Ross tutorials. His paintings find themselves between tumblr and grandmothers dining room by creating a playful system of landscape motifs (alpine mountains, evergreen trees and woodland cabins) often using gradients to experiment with background, shadow and highlight effects (see Photoshop CS6) blurring the lines between figuration and abstraction. For CABINECTOMY, Raitt has also produced a dynamic french screen made of Coloradan pine acting to obscure, reveal, and support the paintings, as well as an enlarged “Magic Tree” slumped dolefully against real pine emitting a fresh pine scent – reminding us how Raitt playfully adds efficacy to readymade motifs. Neil Raitt (b. 1986, lives and works in London, UK) studied at the Royal College of Art and Norwich University College of the Arts where he received his MA in Painting and BA (Hons) in Fine Art, respectively. In 2013, Raitt was granted the prestigious artist residency from the Martini Arte Internazionale in Turin, Italy, and in 2009 he was awarded the Attenborough Prize for emerging talent in the visual arts. Raitt has also exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts and at the Hockney Gallery, RCA, London. His work is held in a number of private and public collections, including the Frank-Suss Collection, London, New York, Hong Kong, and the Saatchi Gallery, London. Neil Raitt is also the winner of the 2014 Catlin Art Prize, a prestigious award given to recent UK art school graduates. Upcoming projects include a solo exhibition at Anat Ebgi (Los Angeles) and presentations at Art Los Angeles Contemporary and FIAC Los Angeles.