Geoffrey Farmer — The Surgeon and the Photographer

LondonArt & Culture

Stuck On You

Canadian collage artist is blessed with surgical precision...

Geoffrey Farmer’s latest work The Surgeon and the Photographer took three years to complete, and when you look at it closely it’s not hard to see why – the word “fiddly” doesn’t do it justice. Farmer is the surgeon of the piece, cutting out scores of assorted images from magazines and books and reassembling them to form new creatures like a modern day Dr Frankenstein.

Mounting the dissected paper body parts on linen, Farmer uses wood and metal as a skeleton on which to attach his harvested bits and pieces, creating a legion of figures marshalled into a small three dimensional army of collage and assemblage. More piecemeal than the creations in his previous work Leaves of Grass, The Surgeon’s patients are unrecognisable from their original state, and instead of a gallery of famous faces we have a collection of almost puppet-like oddities which require if anything even closer scrutiny than those in Leaves… The Barbican art gallery is acting as stage to Farmer’s work until 23rd July.

Geoffrey Farmer, The Surgeon and the Photographer Geoffrey Farmer, The Surgeon and the Photographer Geoffrey Farmer, The Surgeon and the Photographer

Photo, Alessandro Quisi

Geoffrey Farmer, The Surgeon and the Photographer

Photo, Alessandro Quisi

Geoffrey Farmer, The Surgeon and the Photographer Geoffrey Farmer, The Surgeon and the Photographer Geoffrey Farmer, The Surgeon and the Photographer Geoffrey Farmer, The Surgeon and the Photographer Geoffrey Farmer, The Surgeon and the Photographer Geoffrey Farmer, The Surgeon and the Photographer

Photo, Alessandro Quisi

Geoffrey Farmer, The Surgeon and the Photographer

Photo, Alessandro Quisi

Photography, Jane Hobson,
unless otherwise stated

Geoffrey Farmer,
The Surgeon and the Photographer, 2009–13 (detail).
Paper, textile, wood and metal.
Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery.
Purchased with funds from the Jean MacMillan Southam Major Art Purchase Fund,
Phil Lind, Vancouver Art Gallery Acquisition Fund,
Canada Council for the Arts Acquisitions Assistance Program
and the Michael O’Brian Family Foundation.

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