Paloma is an American artist, who after living and working for several years in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Berlin, now lives and works in Alzenau, Germany with his wife and two young children. Paloma's paintings explore the darker side of society in a humorous yet poignant and gritty manner. Heavily inspired by cave paintings and other archetypal symbols, Paloma creates works which look to act as fossils of contemporary life, tackling subjects such as politics and human behaviour, to unpick the failings of modern society.
Works such as The Amerikan Human Resource Department speak directly to the financial and healthcare difficulties Paloma faced. A critique of the healthcare system while living on a low income in the US, Paloma says: “It was hell, like getting our minds and bodies torn to shreds, hours and hours on the phone explaining and re-explaining our financial situation over and over.”
The exhibition will see Paloma’s work through muddied colour reduction techniques, recalling the rawness of the earth, and the same primitiveness of the cave paintings that inspire him. Offering an unbridled view on people, cities, carvings and everything in between, the artist calls us home, translating different realms as unique symbols within his abstract works.
Problem Nomadic sees Paloma take inspiration from his nomadic way of life and touches on the recent migrant crisis. Art historian and critic Larissa Kikol discerns the image of a riot in Paloma’s works, “in a formal sense as gestural, material chaos between thing and person -an implosion of innumerable signs”. Between the lines, or rather between the characters, the atmosphere is tense, as if riots were in the air.
The exhibition is also formed by Paloma’s new ‘The Naked Woman’ series - a collection of figurative paintings with exaggerated, bold shapes, resembling those of animal mothers - an honest depiction, far away from the image filters that pander to other ideals of beauty. These portraits celebrate the traditional “reclining Nude” whilst observing people and society through an anthropological lens.
Speaking of the exhibition at Saatchi Yates, Kottie Paloma said: “I grew up in Huntington Beach, California. This was a punk rock, skateboard, surf town. It’s where I learned about all that and would inspire my future life. I’m like part of the tail end of Generation X. This new body of work is for me a departure from color, starting out as large drawings and developing from there. Colour in an ironic way would have muddled the issue - like Picasso, I wanted to get straight to the point and only show what needed to be as he did in his black and white series.