Launching quietly and without ceremony in March 2013, the Tiny Art online gallery presents a select collection of Sowerby & Luff’s famously diminutive work.
This exhibition is an understated tour de force – many of the drawings almost breathtaking in their simplicity. Why these artists have waited so long to open their first gallery is a puzzle.
The drawn line was the root element of the Renaissance tradition from which Brian & Georgina took their inspiration. One can’t help but think that if Parmigianino had owned a 0.5 Edding 1800 fibre tip pen he would have made work like this – the line vivacious but purposeful, freestyle but not wild.
Sowerby & Luff’s sparse, almost naive creations may be in part a response to the overpoweringly threatening era in which they live – forever abandoning pretentious large-scale paintings in favour of a disposable, pocket art style that’s very much on a human scale.
A full-length study of Our Lord, modestly titled “Tiny Jesus” (pictured) is deeply moving in its bleak lack of adornment. A drawing of a tiny hat reminds one of French impressionist Georges Seurat. Perhaps most surprisingly there is a pen and ink picture of an aerosol can entitled “Tiny Aerosol”. I have never before seen an aerosol can depicted in a drawing. I find it at once surprising and life affirming.
Take a look at the drawing called “Tiny Banana” – surely only a few seconds in the rendering, but Millennia in the making – the fruit looking like something the artists may have shared on a fondly remembered holiday, or in the company of treasured friends. It also feels personal, like a banana I might once have eaten myself.