Like all of Mike Worrall’s surrealist, fantasy paintings, The Home Run has an oil paint application that is fine, thin, & delicate in its application. He uses an illustrative, draughtsman technique, so that the result is three-dimensional, yet illusory, but with minimal loading of paint on the brush. The painting title hints to the possibility of a woman heading home to celebrate a job promotion with her boyfriend /flatmate. The crepuscular twilight of a pink-hued sky, partially concealing a golden fading sun (or moon) above intricately cobblestoned streets. There is an intricacy to the maze-like narratives, a pure dedication to his historically-placed breath-taking scenery. Simplicity, without an abstract short-hand – they are moody tableaus with a language reminiscent of old masters/Renaissance in style and substance. Irony and wit underscores a vaudevillian celebration of life, a pan’s labyrinth of possibilities, allowing the viewer’s imagination to soar.
Worrall is a master of harmonious colour, his paintings are tonally painted, with a subtlety diffused palette that comes together seamlessly, as a Rene Magritte or Paul Delvaux appears in the Musee D’Orsay of Paris (we wish!).
His skill is to stand at the sensory threshold, that hypothetical border between sumptuous and sinister. His large tableau paintings are maze-like journeys into surreal landscapes and, if the wrong path is taken, may lead us to a very dark place. He invites us to step beyond the threshold into the hinterland of the human soul. Each vignette, each composition, is in itself a perfect still from an unfinished film, perhaps left as a talisman by an obscure film-maker. As if gleaned from a lost archive, the image may just be a fragment. Each painting celebrates a cultural succession borne of the Renaissance, and the twentieth century’s champions of surrealist understatement; Magritte, Delvaux, Ernst, and a touch of Velasquez.
Worrall engages the audience with a mastery of colour, tone, composition and perspective. His is the other side of the looking glass, between the normal and the imagined, a pantomime to enjoy, via the artist’s fertile imagination. Informed by his work in film, Worrall explores hyper-real depictions of the mysterious and fantastical. As in a dream, the quiet façade and the beauty of the large scale oil paintings masks the intriguing content and enormous energy underpinning the works. Based on the Central Coast of NSW, Australia, Mike has been a practicing artist since the early 1960s and exhibits both locally and internationally.