Melbourne-based artist Tom Adair is bringing his latest exhibition to SydneyPalm Mirage, a love note to the mid-century architecture of Palm Springs, California, will be on show at the in Chippendale from March 14 – 30.

Adair’s foray into art stemmed from his immersion into graffiti subculture while studying a bachelor of fashion. He learned to spray with pressurized paint and later refined his technique through an exploration of the airbrush, adding dots and fine lines by hand before converting his images into digital, monochrome renderings. Bent neon lights are the final touch, added to accentuate certain shapes and architectural lines.

Palm Mirage is a snippet from a larger body of work studying the houses of Palm Springs, photographed by Adair during a trip he took in December 2018. Adair reinterprets the optical phenomenon of a mirage, occurring amongst arid landscapes and desert surrounds, to question our broader perception of what we see versus reality.

Adair is a valiant proponent of the idiom ‘nobody’s perfect,’ challenging the notion of an idyllic family home through his airbrush technique, which transforms perfected Western architecture into a jumble of monochromatic dots. The nuance suggests that the projection of a dream life alongside a dream home doesn’t really exist – an illusion, or in this case rather, a mirage.

Palm Mirage poses an existential challenge about exterior appearance as opposed to veritable substance. Moreover, Adair’s technical intersection of photography, graffiti, and neon art offers a fresh perspective on the much-documented mid-century mecca that is Palm Springs.


Related: Tom Adair’s Debut Solo Show HOME at Metro Gallery.


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