Stanley Greening’s drawings are menacing and mischievous, serenely melancholic, sexual, dark and sinister, but playful and humorous.
‘My inner world is projected honestly and directly in my work: my ideas, images and application of chosen media reveal my struggles and torments with a fragile reality. Welcome to the ‘Absurdity of Sanity’ and the ‘Nests’ where I reside.’
Stanley’s technique can appear both aggressive and delicate in execution as the multi-layering of oil pastel and pencil creates depth and attempts to emulate the marks and surfaces achieved in materials like paint, clay or plaster. The images often take on a biomorphic quality, as scratches reference marked time and inevitable scarring of the epidermal layer.
When three dimensions become two, references to scale may become ambiguous. As a result, a background might become a backdrop and images more like dioramas, scenes waiting for further content or long forgotten stage sets. One recurring element in Stanley’s work is water or fluid. It appears as puddles, ponds or streams. This ‘water’ is always depicted dark, scratched and reflective. These surfaces do not reveal true depth or what may be lurking beneath, for instance. On many levels, Stanley is a tease, he often hides an alternative narrative in plain sight. Allegory plays an important role, for this reason, narrative is essentially and deliberately misleading. One may consider Stanley to be preoccupied with the absurdity of existence.
In a series of drawings, collectively titled, ’Nests’, Stanley weaves a mass network of branch or capillary-like structures with tangled ladders. These stark, black, networks create unknown, menacing, depth. They become sinister traps as much as they represent somewhere homely and secure.