Part of Modern Love

Man Reading Messages

David Haines

2019 – Oil on canvas


​​In a series of paintings, images appropriated from a cam sex site depict bare-chested young men in the solitude of their domestic environs, engaging with their mobile phones, oblivious of the viewer and their own surroundings. The feeling of claustrophobia generated by the small rooms they inhabit contrasts sharply with the supposed boundless world of the Internet and the escapist wallpaper images – urban metropolises or exotic backdrops – that decorate the banal domestic settings.

Referencing not only our own contemporary, isolated absorption with the screen, the works also point to 17th-century Dutch painting, with its glimpses of private domestic spaces where the subjects received letters, played music and hinted at desires. Using the language of the Old Masters, David Haines has developed a language for painting which is fully grounded in today’s digital image culture.

Courtesy of the artist & Upstream Gallery, Amsterdam. Privatsammlung, Rotterdam and Brussels 


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