Looking at them in reproductions, some might be tempted to think of contemporary realist James Neil Hollingsworth’s refined still life paintings as photo-realistic, but I’ve never seen them that way.
To my eye Hollingsworth’s paintings are about the exploration of surfaces — metallic, wooden, smooth, textured, reflective, refractive, polished and tarnished.
His surfaces are always revealed by directional light, sweeping across objects, through spaces and bouncing through transparent and translucent materials.
Hollingsworth also seems to revel in the challenge of taking on different surfaces that can be difficult to paint, sometimes with intricate patterns and complex details, sometimes with entire sub-compositions reflected in curved objects, and sometimes mixtures of these characteristics.
He also, particularly in recent years, likes to play with dramatically placed compositions, moving his objects partly off the bottom of the canvas, for example, and leaving large negative spaces in the majority of the composition.
Hollingsworth has recently redone his website, with gallery sections for currently available work as well as archives from previous years. He also maintains a blog in which he discusses his work in progress.
Hollingsworth’s work will be on display at Tree’s Place gallery in Orleans MA from July 14 to July 19, 2012, as part of a two person show along with the beautiful still life paintings of M. Collier, who I have also previously profiled.