lives and works
Palmerston North, New Zealand
BFA, Maori Visual Arts, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand, 2002
MFA, Maori Visual Arts, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand, 2005
about the artist
Kelcy Taratoa extracts Technicolor, hyper-exposed episodes from his own virtual reality to create graphic paintings of urbanscapes decked with comic book heroes, filmic heroines, futuristic masked workers, and metropolitan structures. Rich layers of implications arise from viewing these works: the idea of a universal narrative—how people interact with and react to potential conflict—as well as an investigation into the temptation to submit to an escapist world. "Disappearing" (2011) is an iconic picture from his oeuvre, a work that has subsequently been reinvented in a series of chromatic variations. "Disappearing Redux" (2011-2012) is an experiment in perception and interpretation; the project follows the three-tiered spirit of Pop repetition: filtered through Andy Warhol’s iconic "Flowers", "Marilyn", and "Mao" screen prints, as well as an Impressionist consideration of Claude Monet’s Rouen Cathedral in different times of the day, and also the contemporary possibilities of digital manipulation. Living and working currently in Palmerston North, New Zealand, Taratoa specializes in painting. Since obtaining his undergraduate degree, he has procured solo exhibitions at public institutions in New Zealand, such as the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, the Dowse Art Museum, and the City Gallery Wellington. He was also included in the Roundabout exhibition, which toured to the City Gallery Wellington, New Zealand, and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel.