In The Frame: Bobby + Isaac by Poot Mendes On Display as Part Of The Zurich Portrait Prize at National Gallery of Ireland

Posted January 10, 2022 in Arts & Culture Features

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Bobby + Isaac

Poot Mendes

“When starting out it’s so important to lean heavily on your gut because, as emerging artists, it’s all we’ve got.”

“The creative process begins the same way with every collage; I find an image I’m enthusiastic about and then I build the composition around it. That image could be a model in an interesting pose, or something inanimate like a washing line, or in the case of this collage, the silhouette of a goal post back lit by sunset. Once I have decided on the image, I let that determine the perspective, colour and depth of the rest of the collage.

Tone is the most important element to me, the moodier and dreamier it is the better. Tone is what resonates with the viewer and allows them to become curious and draw their own perceptions. I think of my collages as brief interruptions, almost like a door has been left ajar and we’re getting a glimpse into a fantasy, momentarily disrupting what’s playing out.

Whereas I typically use found imagery to create my collages, ‘Bobby + Isaac’ differs in that it’s my first collage containing photographic elements that I shot myself. I started following Isaac on Instagram after seeing the music video for his debut song, Mood Fades, a dreamy R&B track with a lot of heart and a lot to say, the lyrics of which are typed out on the phone screen in this collage.

I then discovered the library of music he released under his pseudonym, Bobby Basil, and while musically Bobby and Isaac stand apart from each other, their charisma and honest tackling of subjects that men typically have a hard time talking about is present in both. I felt we came from a similar viewpoint on these subjects, so it was a gut instinct to reach out and ask Isaac to sit for me. When starting out it’s so important to lean heavily on your gut because, as emerging artists, it’s all we’ve got.”

‘Bobby + Isaac’ is currently on display in the National Gallery of Ireland as part of the Zurich Portrait Prize, until April 3.  Free admission.


Read more abut this year’s Zurich Portrait Prize in our interview with Sarah McAuliffe, Curator at the National Gallery of Ireland.

The Zurich Portrait Prize is on display at the National Gallery of Ireland


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