Tony Rumball’s paintings feature a quirky cast of characters, and unlikely assemblage of objects.
The artist’s strongly drawn figures command centre stage, captured on canvas while going about their daily lives. Yet as commonplace as their activities seem, there is often a barely disguised humour in their ways – from the competent farmer playing chess in "Trev to Black Queen", to the plucky refugee chancing the floodwaters (and throwing a virtual finger at the ferryman) in "Up Styx and Away".
Inspired by recent events is "Waiting for the Silverware", a work that Rumball describes as “about a man and his dog in the months before the Rugby World Cup”. Is that a mountain view above the dog’s head, or a picture of a sinking ship on rough seas?
Even everyday objects are imbued with Rumball’s characteristic wry twist. Consider, for example, his aptly titled "Labels": featuring a row of indistinct clothes with prominently coloured labels. The inspiration behind the work was “'Phew, how the kids choose clothes'” – an activity where fashion and brands are often of greater concern than function.
Ordinary people and unexceptional objects alike are transformed by the artist’s hand into unique, often whimsical, works of art. We welcome you to stop by Zimmerman this month to view a selection of Tony Rumball’s works.