Carl Kostyál proudly presents Look however don’t contact, Callum Eaton’s debut solo exhibition with the gallery. Having pursued that specific painterly perfection of photorealism since his time at Goldsmiths (BA Advantageous Artwork, 2019), Callum Eaton watched on with a way of satisfaction when an inebriated attendee of an early open studio session tried, inevitably in useless, to work together with a two-dimensional depiction of a traditional money machine. The pissed off fumblings of Eaton’s incapacitated patron recall that famend Grecian story of illusionary artworks, Zeuxis and Parrhasius’ contest of inventive artifice. The latter, incensed on the former’s means to provide a still-life so correct that birds would fly down in an effort to select on the grapes portrayed, determined to develop his personal deceitful depiction. When full, Parrhasius invited his unwitting rival to view his newest masterpiece, safely saved behind the draped curtains of his studio. Upon reaching out to unveil the art work, an unsuspecting Zeuxis encountered solely stable floor and yielded to the superior draughtsman, the curtains themselves being Parrhasius’s portray.
For his London debut exhibition at Carl Kostyál, Eaton has made an expanded choice of the oft-overlooked avenue furnishings and concrete structure that populate the artist’s hometown. Imbued with an acute consciousness of conceptual artwork developed throughout his time at Goldsmiths and a wry critique of the ever-increasing commercialisation of latest tradition in Twenty first-century society, Eaton’s artwork inhabits a world diminished to 2 dimensions. These on a regular basis objects – their coin slots, keypads and buttons eagerly awaiting use – seem somewhat as readymades. They keep their kind however lose their perform.
Road-side phone containers made all however out of date by cellphones and now usually eliminated by councils and metropolis planners, stay as reliquaries to unrelenting digital development. Coca-Cola merchandising machines replete with Warholian repetition expose Eaton’s labour-intensive like-for-like replication of on-demand appeasement, whereas elevators from the artist’s personal studio area within the Metropolis of London retain eerie echoes of their former life ferrying bankers and enterprise folks. Using that trompe-l’œil trickery popularised by French genre-painter Louis-Léopold Boilly – whose portrayal of overlaid sheets of paper was chosen for the Paris Salon of 1800 – Eaton doggedly paperwork his on a regular basis surroundings, every portray turning into a brand new piece of his Sims-esque city-building growth pack.
And simply because the artist is current in Jan van Eyck’s famed Arnolfini Portrait easter-egg or the key self-portraits that Baroque-period painter Clara Peeters snuck into her still-lives, Eaton himself seems as each an apparition mirrored within the door of a launderette’s Washeteria and the instance photos one may receive from a Photograph-Me self-service photo-booth. The artist as topic – as object maybe – blurring the traces between the actual world he inhabits, and the flattened substrata simulation that exists on the floor of every canvas. —Hector Campbell