In his distinctive and gestural style Toby Raine revisits iconic images. As a voyeur, rather than an advocate, he reflects on visual and systematic problems. Drawing from popular imagery that is part of the ‘new normal’ daily deluge of visual media and virtual provocations. Raine uses these images as a starting point to dissect the problem of painting. Much like the expressionists, Raine employs automatism to deconstruct the image. With performative actions, swiping and scraping, he goads his oil paint to exude and accumulate over surfaces. Without commitment to the outcome or the subject, Raine attempts to examine the problem of painting, of thinking, of meaning, of being. Simultaneously he is rejecting and intensifying the images that provide the impetus to paint. The problem is not resolved, but it has been addressed.
New Zealand-based artist Toby Raine has emerged as a leading figure in the contemporary New Zealand art-scape for his heavy impasto and gestural portraits. Rain is a New Zealand-based artist, completing his Doctorate of Fine arts at Elam School of Fine Arts. In Australia, represented by James Makin Gallery, the artist has quickly gained a strong collectorship, with a sell-out Australian debut solo exhibition, Hair of the Dog. Raine is a regular finalist in the Wallace Art Awards and the Molly Morpeth Canaday Award.