Without wishing to get too party political, it’s a bad time to be an Australian liberal. Prime Minister Tony Abbott isn’t winning himself many friends with his style of leadership, and Anthony Lister, an artist based in Brisbane, would seem unlikely to be putting a tick in his box come re-election. Power Tripping, his new collection on show in New York, has a point to make about authoritarian regimes, and on the topic of governmental control of the people, Lister said “Over time, the whip has been replaced with the sword, and the sword replaced with the gun” and the characters in his paintings reflect a kind of imbalance of power or repression in their presentation as grotesque comic book heroes and villains, puffed-up and pumped-up.
Lister calls his style “adventure painting”, which is an experimental process which embraces accidents, drips, splodges, expressionist brushwork and spray-paint. As well as this series of paintings being exhibited at Jonathan LeVine Gallery (closing date 26 July), the artist will be painting a mural in Lower Manhattan as part of the LISA Project NYC.