Is Text Cheating Catalogue

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is text cheating cover .jpg
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Is Text Cheating Catalogue

20.00

One of the first introductions to structured education a child encounters is writing exercises, where one is taught to trace the shape of a letter over the dotted guide and then to practice by repeating the letter on the empty line. Praise, stars, accolades are heaped onto tots with good penmanship. And so it begins: to be successful you have to stay within the ‘lines’, follow the path that has been set. God forbid the tail of your ‘q’ strays willy nilly two lines below.

That Matthew Bax, a tax accountant in a previous incarnation, founded critically acclaimed bars in Melbourne and Singapore and is a successful artist in three continents, is paid testament that straying is a good thing, if not even better.

This is the second series of works Bax has created since relocating to Singapore 18 months ago. His first titled My Life is an Open Book was also bibliophilic in theme. Text in art no doubt blurs the line between graphic design and fine art. However approach Bax’s works from a purely aesthetic point of view and you experience the joy of spontaneous brushwork and freedom of random splatters reminiscent of action paintings. Read the text and you experience the wit of the artist, who simultaneously probes, questions and challenges the status quo.

And while the imagery of lined exercise books and index cards is somewhat old school, the tongue-in-cheek title is a decidedly contemporary reference to modern day communication. The question posed in the title would not have made much sense even a short a time as a decade ago. With text messaging, flirting need no longer be conducted face to face, instead feelings can be instantaneously conveyed (or masked) with seemingly harmless emoticons, expressions made up of punctuation marks and indecipherable unless read sideways. And even if physical boundaries may never be crossed, the same cannot be said for emotional ones.

Blurred boundaries, crooked lines and words askew – that is Life.

Stephanie Fong
Director
FOST Gallery, Singapore

ISBN: 978-981-08-5586-4

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