Jamie Fitzpatrick is a London based artist from Southport, England, born in 1985. He received his undergraduate degree in Fine Art, Philosophy & Contemporary Practice at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee (2009). He later went on to do his Masters in Sculpture at Royal College of Art (2015). His thought-provoking style has gained him international attention resulting in him being included in a multitude of prestigious exhibitions including UK/Raine at the Saatchi Gallery and the ‘New Contemporaries’ at the ICA, London (2015). He has won many awards including the UK/Raine Saatchi Gallery Sculpture Award (2015) and Visitor Vote Catlin Art Prize at Londonnewcastle Project Space (2016). His residencies also include Biruchiy contemporary art project with the British Council (Ukraine, 2016).
Fitzpatrick’s practice can be seen as a social critique, he explores the ways in which our perceptions of the historical figures depicted in memorial statues change over time. Thus, his works question authoritative power by caricaturing monuments and highlighting the shift in their hierarchical position within society. As his works communicate his ideas about social issues, one could understand Fitzpatrick within an Expressionist framework. The artist believes that the distortion of reality through fiction and abstraction is a more sustainable method of enabling political theory to resonate within society, standing the test of time. This is due to the fact that realistic representations of reality are tied to particular events and moments in time, which fictional stories can transcend due to their importance residing in the underlying message. Thus, Fitzpatrick capitalises on the ridiculous and the absurd in his bizarrely sculptural critique of authority. However, this is not the sole means through which he does so; even the titles of his work often serve as an aid in understanding the subject matters which lay within, often referencing political quotes and ideas.
Fitzpatrick’s sculptures are often made of wax, wood and polyurethane foam. Although he employs the same wax as that used at Madame Tussaud’s Museum, Fitzpatrick’s sculptures are not at all life-like: on the contrary, they are endowed with grotesquely lurid features and tower above us bigger-than-life. Like caricatures of political characters, they simultaneously signal the dangerous traits of these figures and take them down by mocking them. Furthermore, these artworks are produced with the intention of allowing the studio process to remain apparent. By the artist purposely leaving footmarks and other imprints on their surface, for the viewer a sense of impasto reminiscent of artists such as Frank Auerbach is created. This texture adds to the excitement of already explosive works.