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Ransome Stanley

Artist 289

Ransome Stanley

Dismantling Exoticism

Archival Art

Ransome Stanley (born 1953) is a British artist who is known for his archival style of painting. He combines portraits with popular culture elements.

He draws from colonial clichés presented in Western culture and idioms of 19th century bourgeois society. Stanley problematizes the images of exoticism globally disseminated across the media.

He was born in London to a Nigerian father and a German mother. Stanley currently resides in Munich.

A self-proclaimed ‘shifter transitioning between two worlds’, he utilizes this elasticity to disrupt the territories of truth and fiction when painting.

Stanley draws from the media's ‘archive’ and industry to reconfigure its language through appropriation and montage. By adapting familiar motifs, derived from the canons of history, politics, ethnology, symbolism, and mythological teachings, Stanley forces his viewer to question cultural principles firmly rooted within the collective consciousness of humanity.

On his style: "I don't consider myself a 'collage artist,' but I would say that collage describes my thinking process -- nonlinear, absurd, sometimes beautiful, sometimes grotesque and fragmented."

On his penchant for the color black: "One of my main concerns is the issue of time. I was actually trying to paint time, which of course is impossible. So I started mixing colors to make them look as if time had changed them, as if they were bleached by the sun or washed out by the rain. I want to create a certain patina, but not in a romantic view of the past.

As for the color black, it is heavy on cultural meaning. Black is the absence of all light yet painting on a black background gives me the impression of light. It doesn't matter if the color is very bright or soft, you do feel it in an extreme way."

Sources Consulted


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