Mat Collishaw’s (b. 1966) art envelops us in a twilight world poised between the alluring and the revolting, the familiar and the shocking, the poetic and the morbid. With a visual language embracing diverse media, the beauty of Collishaw’s work draws us in – seductive, captivating, hypnotic – only to more forcefully repel us as we perceive the darker fantasies within. A repulsion triggered not by what we see, but by our innate response to it.
Pornography, the crucifixion, gleaming fairies, syphilitic child prostitutes, bestiality, bondage, addiction, religion, exaltation and despair, even the final hours of a death-row inmate. There is seemingly no taboo left unbroken, no dark corner Collishaw is unwilling to explore – and yet, the work is utterly romantic, exquisitely beautiful, an expression of Collishaw’s wish to “create images that are awe-inspiring”.