Australia

Art for its time: social distance painted in oils

ARTIST IN THE TIME OF COVID-19 – Kevin Chin

Artist Kevin Chin is not the poster boy for digital uptake. “I have an Instagram account, but I’m just really shit at using it. I’m still painting with oil on linen.”

He’s caught up with the Renaissance at least, then. “Probably more like the Middle Ages. I’m definitely a stickler for the physical. That’s one of the things I love about painting, that it’s a tangible medium. You can smell the oil paint.”

Kevin Chin in his studio: 'I’m definitely a stickler for the physical.'

Kevin Chin in his studio: 'I’m definitely a stickler for the physical.'

Creating large, ethereal works that meld Australian, American and Asian urban and natural landscapes, each painting in his latest show Social Distance includes figures dwarfed by their surroundings. It was a year in the making, but the encroaching pandemic heightened the sense of solitude.

“We’re supposed to be more interconnected than ever, but in world politics, we were already seeing this us versus them mindset,” he says. “Now it’s on a much larger scale, because of the way we’ve had to close our borders. For all the rhetoric around globalisation, that feeling of distance is greater than ever. That’s what I’ve tried to put into these paintings."

Although Fitzroy’s This is No Fantasy gallery is open, there won’t be an opening night, so Chin’s going social after all. He secured grants from Creative Victoria and City of Yarra, the latter funding a series of short artist talk videos. They’ll be posted one a week on Instagram. “Given I’d normally answer people’s questions and tell them about the inspirations behind the paintings at the opening, it’s a way for me to try to do that in 60 seconds.”

How you can help: Follow the artist on Instagram @Kevin_chin_art. Social Distance opens at This is No Fantasy in Fitzroy on July 7.

Football news:

Marotta on the match with Bayer: I am very optimistic. Inter wants to win the Europa League
Manchester United are unhappy with the way Borussia was leading the negotiations for Sancho. The Germans did not want to communicate directly
Liverpool have announced the purchase of defender Tsimikas from Olympiakos
Bordeaux appointed ex-assistant Blanc Gasse as head coach
Sterling on the win over Real Madrid: Manchester City were incredibly hungry. We have the strength to succeed in the Champions League
Galliani about Pirlo in Juve: Andrea was laughing like a madman when I called to congratulate him
Villarreal will pay no more than 20 million euros for Valencia captain Parejo and midfielder Coquelin