오용석의 회화에는 인간의 본성, 특히 내밀하고 본능적인 영역에서 터져 나오는 쾌락, 희열, 분노, 불안과 같은 감정이 혼재되어 있다. 타인과의 관계에서 발생하는 욕망이나 불편함 같은 감정은 남성의 신체를 사용한 도상, 그리고 분출하듯 흘러내리고 짓이겨진 물감의 중첩으로 표현되곤 한다. 명확한 이미지와 도상을 통해 분명한 서사 전달을 성취하기보다는 추상적인 정서가 생동하는 이미지로 귀결시키는 작가의 태도는 오히려 더 관능적인 인상과 아우라로 가득한 하나의 장면을 만들어 낸다. 이미지는 그 자체로 아름다움을 풍성하게 간직한 것이기보다는 관능이 휘젓고 난 뒤 흔적만 남은 표피일 수도 있다는 작가의 말처럼, 그의 회화의 첫인상을 장악하던 섹슈얼함은 하나의 이미지 표면이 아닌 중첩된 이미지-표피 사이사이에서 침묵하던 비밀스럽지만 자연스러운 욕망의 언어, 행위, 목소리가 얽히고설켜 만들어내는 정서이다.

 

이번 광주비엔날레에 출품하는 두 개의 작품 <Mirror #1>과 <Mirror #2>는 서로 다른 듯 굉장히 닮아있다. 검은 바탕 위에 자유롭게 유영하는 현란한 색의 붓질, 그리고 마지막에 흩뿌려진 분홍색의 물감은 내면 깊숙이 억눌린 욕정을 마지막 한 방울까지 짜내어 분출하는 듯한 생동감을 전달한다. 하지만, 그렇게 강렬하게 요동치던 이미지도 곧 배경의 검은바탕, 그 규율과 통제의 범주에서 쉽사리 벗어나지 못한다. 그 옆으로 동일한 제목을 가진 정반대의 인상을 한 작품이 있다. 덧칠을 거듭해 그 밑에 깔려있던 알 수 없는 도상을 덮어버린 흰색의 바탕은 마치 충동하는 개인의 욕망을 애써 외면하고 강제로 억눌러 숨기고자 어쩔 수 없이 택한 침묵처럼 느껴진다. 하지만 가까이 다가서면 순백의 균질한 표면 위로 또 다른 정서적 흐름을 유발하는 붓질, 이내 감추지 못하고 터져 나온 작가의 회화적 제스처가 흐릿하게 감지된다. 하나의 색으로 깔린 배경과 그 위를 가로지르는 붓질의 선, 마지막 순간에 감정의 분출에 따라 솔직하게 뿌려진 물감이 구축한 화면은 동일한 레이어와 구조를 취함으로써 서로 달랐던 두 개의 인상이 곧 상대를 복제하듯 마주하고 있음을 알게 된다. 이렇게 각기 다른 톤으로 캔버스 위에 안착한 두 개의 이미지는 작품의 제목이 말해주듯 실제로는 서로를 비추는 거울이다. 그리고 하나의 이야기에서부터 뻗어 나온 수많은 상이 굴절되어 담긴 화면이다. 작가는 말한다. 마치 차별과 혐오를 반대하고 공존의 삶을 외치던 목소리, 그리고 그것을 막고 반대하는 목소리가 사실은 하나의 목소리에서 시작하였을지도 모른다고. 결국 본 작업은 눈앞의 신뢰가 사라질 때 감당하기 힘든 현실에서 몸부림치는 작가의 분열된 양극의 자화상이며, 이 작품을 마주하는 관객 자신을 비추는 거울이자 동시에 그들의 자화상이다.

 

 

Oh's paintings illustrate a mixture of emotions, which bursts out of the intimate and instinctive realms of humans. Desires and uneasiness that arise from relationships are often expressed in the form of pornographic images or through overlaid paint flowing down as if erupting and smeared. Rather than trying to achieve a clear narrative through the display of obvious images and figures, he pursues images abounding with abstract emotions. He says that the image itself can be the epidermis of beauty that remains after a moment of sensual excitement has ended. His perspective is in opposition to viewing the work as something that contains beauty in it. Therefore, the sexuality that dominates the first impression of his painting does not come from a single image but from superimposed images-emotions that are created when secret but natural language, acts, and voices that kept are in silence between the layers within the epidermis are entangled.

 

Mirror # 1 and Mirror # 2, the two works presented to the 2018 Gwangju Biennale, are both different from but, in a way, similar to each other at the same time. Brush strokes that float freely on the black background and the paint sprinkled on the canvas deliver a sense of liveliness as if one's deeply repressed internal desire was squeezed out on the canvas to the last drop. Crossing lines and sprinkled paint on a monotone background faithfully represent the eruption of emotions. The pieces take the same structure, revealing that the two which looked different from each other, are actually the mirrors that reflect each other, as their titles ‘mirror’ suggest. They are also screens onto which numerous reflections refracted from a single story a projected. The artist believes that the voices that resisted discrimination and hatred and urged coexistence and the other voices that oppressed and opposed them might have been derived from one voice. In the end, these works are the self-portrait of the bipolarized ego of the artist that struggles in the unbearable reality when he loses the vision of what he trusted before his eyes, and also the portraits of the audiences who stand in front of them. 

 

김성우 / 독립큐레이터, 2018 광주비엔날레 큐레이터

Kim, Sung Woo / Independent Curator, 2018 Gwangju Biennale Curator

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