Ian Scott's otherworldly paintings, frequently bizarre yet always based in a closely focused, detailed reality, attain their strange convictions only because of their visionary quantities. Scott's rich imagination envisages a world where literally anything can happen. And often does. Yet, as he is quick to point out, many of his unusual scenarios are based on real life: glimpses of street happenings from New York to Wick.
The good, the bad. rich and poor, ugly, divine, the loved and the unlovable, confront each other, negotiate. Give or take. Winner takes all. Some transactions are financial, others national, physical or sexual. Power is at the root of it all. A Scottish Parliament is just as precarious as a mixed race marriage or a celebrity's fame. While based in Scotland and Germany, Scott drew on colourful local characters from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Wick and Munich.
An obsession with deep-sea divers and their helmets led to a series with faces hidden by a variety of masks, some literal, some psychological, metamorphical or emotional. Once in New York his horizons expanded to encompass stars like David Bowie, Matthew Marks, Damian Loeb, Joe Coleman and Charlie Finch plus a wide range of characters from Chinatown, from the Bronx, from the Chelsea art works and from rock music. Technically, Scott has a virtuoso touch, his eagle eye retaining immense detail of each character's looks, garb, skin texture - each pore delineated; each scrawny tree or stony crag captured in graphic detail and affectionate exactitude.
(An extract from "Northlands Festival 2001" by Clare Henry)