‘Posters.’ In this exhibition Ag Cain applies his own gently humorous approach to posters and the messages they give out. “The inspiration for these works is drawn from a time back along, when the claims and promises advertisers made reigned supreme and unchallenged over such trivial matters as accuracy, reality or political correctness.” Ag’s modern-retro posters exude that same feel of quiet confidence and optimism – that same promise that all is well with the world.
“My most lasting influences are the numerous unknown enamel-sign artists of bygone years, and the railway poster artists of the inter-war years. They all display a sound technical competence, often with a gentle and confident humour, and above all, a consummate artistic skill. This was an integral part of my creative background.”
Ag worked for many years as a freelance graphic and lettering artist in the British Film & TV Industry, mostly involved in set and prop decoration. Work often had to be produced to tight deadlines, and I learned to use the medium of emulsion paint, which gives a flat finish and is quick drying. This process was an integral part of my creative background, and I still draw on those roots in my present work. Using this medium is not a traditional approach to painting, but it is still very effective.
Today, the subject matters that most interest Ag Cain are local places, people in situations, portraits, and slightly retro posters (a nod to the wonderful graphic artists and illustrators of the inter-war years). When Ag is working he likes to add blocks of colour onto a black base, and I find the resulting contrast of light and shadow – sometimes very dark; contre-jour – creates a strong effect. He also likes his images to be sharp-focused, which also creates a strong effect.
To view more of Ag Cain’s work please go to www.agcain.com