RAW: SALA – Rachel Lobban and Bill & Bob Botten – The Maid

Untitled By Bill Botten - now headed for a discerning art lover's wall

Three artists display their paintings at the Maid, two in the dining area, one amongst the punters.

In the dining rooms, Rachel Lobban attempts retro inspired pop art in bright, bold colours on square canvasses. The imagery has that feel of the 1950s-1970s, of US style diners and milk bars filled with teenage and comic book angst with the screening used reminding one somewhat of Andy Warhol works. All the icons of those times and since are there from Coke and Pepsi labels through to Ninja Turtles.

Most also feature the stencil of a strained woman’s face and the repetition of that motif and others similar tends to detract from the initial attraction of something stunning yet familiar. Ironically perhaps and fulfilling the adage less is more, probably the most successful is Pepsi Trash which has a reduced splash of icons and surrounds them with a plain fawn border.

The father and son combination of Bob and Bill Botten fill the front bar. Bob has four amusing works all designated A Bridge Too Far – featuring well known historical figures – from Marx to Machiavelli – playing cards. The one with Groucho Marx is great while the one with James Bond looks as if he has undergone recent nip and tuck surgery.

Bill has only just wrapped up a very successful exhibition at AP Bond Gallery and these nine works include some from that exhibition including Untitled now bought by one very discerning art lover. Notwithstanding, for this critic, the standout and perhaps of all the works being shown in the hotel is Theme Park which for anyone who has driven past the theme parks on the M1 near the gold Coast will be instantly recognisable.  The fulsome use of white (and minimal use of his trademark black) on this big canvas helps give this work a feel both of fun and short term gratification.

These and Bob’s card works are worth the trip and a beer there this SALA.

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