Castle Keep | James Dean Diamond
James Dean Diamond’s haunting characters and sirens inhabit the fictional and romantic world of a ‘Castle Keep’. The 12 large-format black-and-white and colour works each depict an independent and beguiling solitary figure. The pieces collectively act as the ‘keepers’ against the prevailing ‘reality’ media circus that consumes contemporary British culture.
Using portraiture to convey a human presence through his ectoplasmic beings, Diamond moulds each subject’s personality to reveal individual traits in an esoteric way. The casting, styling and make-up are integral components for the creation of these tableaux, and by utilising a high level of craftsmanship the result is somewhere between caricature and factual representation.
References are made from disparate historical sources including Renaissance and Mannerist simulacrum, as well as interlacing a Gothic edge. The stylised poses, lighting and palette adhere to the painting sensibility of the Renaissance period, while the haute-couture garments adorning these females echo the lavish clothing worn by the gentility. Distorting and exaggerating the facial features, the hands and limbs, Diamond recalls the techniques employed by the Mannerists. The Gothic era is located in the tales of knights and maidens when a ‘castle keep’ was the secure area of a fortress – whereas the black-and-white pieces add a sinister dimension by alluding to early horror and noir films. Diamond’s artwork reflects upon his gothic punk youth, when he longed to be removed from suburban life and to be among theatrical female protagonists.
Curated by/ text: Samia Ashraf
James Dean Diamond is a contemporary British artist who uses science and technology mixed with photography and sound, to create his unique artwork.
Printing sponsor: The Photoprocessing Image Lab Ltd Panos M. Tsiteros, Octagon Assets, John Chris και George Asciak.
Opening: Friday, October 13, 2003, 20:30
Duration: 1 - 30.11.2003
Hours: Monday - Sunday 14:00 - 21:00
25 A.Metaxa Str.
10681 Athens, Greece