Karl Hagan is a painter based in Belfast. Hagan graduated from Ulster University, Belfast in 2018 with a First Class Honours in BA Hons Fine Art Painting. Since graduating he has been the Artist in Residence in Belfast School of Art for painting. Exhibiting in Platform Arts Belfast, Queen Street Studios Gallery Emergence II exhibition, the Engine Room Gallery and the British Embassy Gallery, Beijing.
My paintings follow my investigation into the dual nature of human existence. I found that in making the paintings I was drawn to paint people and places where I have simply enjoyed being or have some form of comfort in and with. It is within these rooms and places where I begin to deconstruct the architecture, furniture and objects to rebuild an exploded version of what was there before. They become fragmented, missing parts of the image and in turn become an altered reality in which these components solely exist. Using colour and mediums to enhance this semi-real or unreal immersion into the spaces in the paintings, the iridescent and two-tone pigments help me to create a celestial glow in brighter areas; whereas considered palette choices implemented by me control the affect this has on the sensitivity within the space. Bright contrasting colours deconstruct the walls and floors, rebuilding in their place a surface for paint to be no more than paint itself. Warm contemplative colours take on a softness, empathetically adding to the ambiguity of the work. The aim being to portray the sense of immersion into an alternate reality, posing the question of what had happened to this place or these people, upon the viewer’s arrival to the chilling aftermath of a disaster. I feel that it is my role as an artist to interpret my surroundings and find a painting within them. Revealing that the simplest things can hold a dualistic role within the compositions of the paintings. A film camera can operate to frame a part of a painting within an existing painting as well as providing a conceptual observation into twenty first century news and media.