Balthazar Rose William 11 February - 25 February 2023

There is something darkly medieval yet dreamlike in William Rose’s paintings, but there is also humour.  Rose uses and adapts the work of other artists of the past - Picasso, Balthus, Morandi, Cezanne and Titian to fill his compositions and then injects them with his own brand of mystery.  Each painting is  rich with symbolism, each has a narrative, often frightening but never dull.  

Rose says of his celebrated series ‘Cooks’, “These paintings are humorous and at times terrifying.  I introduce the cook as the tragic-comic hero and demagogue though he is often all too brutally human”.  They reflect our current obsession with celebrity.  Of the ever-popular cupcake, which William has introduced into a number of his cook paintings, he says: “I sometimes think of a cupcake as merely a cupcake or sometimes, perhaps, as a symbol of the heart”.   In his series, ‘Carnivals of Night’, William’s paintings are  immensely powerful with images that appear to be dragged from the turmoil of ancient Europe.  In addition to these, and almost as a counterbalance, William's still lives are imbued with a quite tonal beauty.