Paintings by Downs
"Simply put, synthetic realism is to take reality as most people see it and reconfigure the structure until the real is made unreal."
In his rich, poetic paintings, Downs reveals his fascination with Art Deco and 1940s Modernism. His paintings, replete with sleek still life, dream-like landscapes and pseudo-comic caricature, work because of their strange pictorial juxtapositions.
Downs begins each painting by sanding and applying five layers of smoothed gesso to each board. A detailed underdrawing defines the shapes while pigment and glazes build the composition. The final image is covered in a layer of finely granulated charcoal, sealed with an isolation coating and covered in several layers of varnish.