It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to.
Charged with drama and energy, Audun Alvestad’s paintings possess a unique cinematic quality. The worlds he depicts are strikingly mundane, intimate and often domestic, but there’s a strong sense of underlying tension throughout. To view the works is like walking past a window and catching a glimpse of another person’s private life; it’s simultaneously intriguing and uncomfortable, you want to turn back, you want to see more. Presenting a new body of work, the Norwegian painterreturns to Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery London for his first solo show titled “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to.”
Taking influence from cartoonesque storyboards and the work of David Hockney, Alvestad’s paintings full of colour and movement: a tap running in the kitchen, steam rising from a car engine, a man swinging an axe, even when the characters are sitting, there is a sense some action or drama having happened moments before. In one painting, for example, a man is sitting in an armchair in a room full of plants, there’s a wine bottle on the table and an ashtray with two stubbed out cigarettes. One of his hands is raised in an ambiguous gesture — we wonder whether he’s speaking to someone out of sight or whether the gesture is one of resignation.