'Wet Produce' is the multi-layered result of my exploration and experimentation with using oil paint to create different textures and surfaces. I was interested in how hyper-realism can be employed to create transparency or the effect of something being wet/dry. Through all my works a reoccurring theme is food and the role that it plays in our society. I'm especially interested in how food is presented, often over the top or eroticised. For this artwork I wanted to follow the traditional tropes of a reclining nude but with the subject being an abundance of fruit and vegetables. This was to comment on the almost voyeuristic nature we view food these days. I chose to paint produce for the range of different curves and textures – similar to a human body. Freshly grown produce is wholesome and pure. Having it half covered in a dripping wet sheet instantly disrupts this purity. Leaving a slight feeling of confusion.
Billy Vanilli (b.1995) is a Melbourne based self taught oil painter and formally trained visual designer. He began exploring oil painting as a medium at the beginning of 2020. Through an isolating year, he quickly developed an interest in still life and realism. His compositions employ realism to explore a moment in time, a feast for one or a recently departed scene. A common theme of food is present throughout his work often from a deliberately objective point of view. They are constructed in a way that make the viewer feel compelled to enter the dining scene. Sometimes the composition is welcoming, other times it can feel invasive and isolating. This is further emphasised through the hyper-realistic qualities that draw the viewer in close to inspect every detail. The texture and landscape created by food is brought to attention through considered use of brush techniques and layering. After his first solo show, Billy continues to build a catalogue of work and explore the unique interaction between viewer and painting.