Zeus’ Bastards, a solo pop-up show of 16 large-scale oil-on-canvas works by Canadian artist, Alias Trate, from 1st-3rd October.
Alias Trate’s most recent figurative works have been realised amongst the throes of the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown. The works, each created in a chaos of artistic catharsis, explore the interconnected drives of virtue and vice as intrinsic elements of the human condition. The lockdown has forced a period of introspection and the highly personal works explore, through mythological influence, the tension between measured reason and chaotic passion.
Of this introspection, Alias Trate says: “There has been a steady removal of many superfluous elements in our lives. Like never before, we have had to come to terms with ourselves and have discovered in the lockdown a clarity of vision. We are complex emotional beings, conditioned by light and dark.” Zeus’ Bastards provides a visual demonstration of the tensions residing in our inner lives.
The title of the exhibition refers to the dialectical relationship between the two illegitimate sons of Zeus: Apollo, the god of the sun, symbolising pure form and rationality, and Dionysus, the god of wine and dance, symbolising chaos and passion. The artistic theme of virtue and vice, embodied by these two gods, has long been woven into Alias Trate’s historical work, which after two decades he has recently started to share publicly. An intensely private artist, the pseudonym-veiled painter’s upcoming Bateman Street exhibition provides a rare opportunity to view his work.
“I have always painted whenever I have felt the need to understand the underlying forces that drive my emotions, desires and actions. Painting is a way to render intelligible and cope with existence,” says Alias Trate. An autodidact, the creation of his evocative works is an exploratory process, conjuring figures and elements both real and imagined.
The works, in this regard, are purgations of Alias Trate’s subconscious, hence the figurative fluidity of the works. Untouched by the strict confines of societal definitions, the pieces blur the line between masculinity and femininity, between beauty and horror. “My work is inherently subconscious,” says Alias Trate, “It’s about expressing, coping and affirming sensibilities, emotions and identities that would otherwise elude capture.”
Following a rich career across various disciplines and geographies, Alias Trate brings a wealth of intellectual inspiration to his work. Quickly establishing himself as one of the UK’s most promising artists, Alias Trate launched his public debut in 2019 with two solo shows, Emotive Brutes and Unwanted Children, exhibited in his East London studio. Using homemade oil paints enhanced with walnut, sunflower and linseed oils, geometric brush strokes, and bold, captivating colours, Alias Trate marries lightness with the gravity of philosophical interrogation of the self. Working under a pseudonym that refers to the human traits he captures in paint, Alias Trate’s work is held in private collections in Canada, Mexico, France, the UAE and the UK.
Zeus’ Bastards, a solo pop-up show of 16 large-scale oil-on-canvas works by Canadian artist, Alias Trate, will be held at 15 Bateman Street, Soho, London, W1D 3AQ from 1st-3rd October.