Tomas Harker's paintings underscore the rapid pace of an image's life online

Tarantula, 2019

Uniting the digital disintegration of jpeg images with traditional, painterly approaches, the work of Tomas Harker examines the idea of images as fleeting moments.

Harker is a self-taught artist, and his series A Sea in Suspense is currently on show at the bo.lee gallery in Peckham, South London. His work explores the ubiquity of visual images online, examining how individual pictures continually bomb are us, before receding away, to be replaced by a whole load more.

“Tomas Harker suspends such fleeting images in paint, a medium at odds with our perpetual visual consumption,” says the gallery. The artist’s process sees him sift through online images to select those he wants to paint. “High, low, iconic and banal are treated with equal importance, their hierarchies deconstructed in the process,” the gallery adds. “A non-linear narrative of allegorical and aesthetic associations is created throughout, one that resists didactic interpretation.”

His visible, seemingly fast-paced brushstrokes hint at the rapid pace of the online world; while areas of blank canvas “convey the artist's internalisation and transformation of found image material,” says bo.lee. “ Through an exploration of the qualities and history of his medium, Harker questions if adding to its legacy is a wish to reappropriate its symbolic power.”

Tomas Harker, A Sea In Suspense, is on show until 25 May 2019 at the bo.lee gallery, 222 Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 4NL.

Orange Tree, 2019

Orange Tree, 2019

Hug (big), 2019

Hug (big), 2019

Pineapple Maze, 2019

Pineapple Maze, 2019

Masked Portrait, 2019

Masked Portrait, 2019

Upside-down portrait, 2019

Upside-down portrait, 2019

Figures, 2019

Figures, 2019

Self Portrait with Cat, 2019

Self Portrait with Cat, 2019