Geoffrey Farmer

Geoffrey Farmer uses photographic imagery to cut up and re-appropriate. Many of his installations are large and adversarial, as in Leaves of Grass which spans 60 feet wide. It takes the shape of a quasi conveyor belt - long and continuous, housing a cacophony of disproportionate faces, places and advertisements of all shapes and sizes. It is a walk through American history, from the perspective of Life magazine and Farmer’s lively imagination, spanning 50 years. Each of the 16,000 cut outs stand to attention on thin grass sticks, each peeping through and confronting the viewer.

 

His work is often noisy and overcrowded, huddling and clustering, like being subjected to a huge audience, a mass of peeping eyes and grinning mouths. Hotdogs and cream buns wave over automobiles, industrial machinery and famous faces.  All manner of American iconography shout out through the crowds. A protracted and continuous banquet of imagery, a supper of majestic proportions to be eaten at length with the eyes.

Farmer creates stage-set scenarios, using puppet-like characters with theatrical and colourful low lighting. His more pared down and quieter less intrusive installations, successfully combine sculptures with cut outs. There are combinations of metals of gold and copper, nebulous puffs of pink smoke and sharp graphic imagery. Neutral clay bases pull the pieces together in a medley of delightful contradictions.