"Systems", 67.5" x 64.25", Oil on canvas, 2010
Corbett Leith's paintings are intense and complex; and then you stop and find out 'that feels wrong'; the first thing that strikes you about Leith's paintings is that they are immediate, physical, vibrant and engaging; full of light, movement and energy... And then you look at them again, differently, and no, actually, they are ripe, slow with shadows, darkness and depth; they can even be frightening in the way deep deep waters are frightening.
You can see the challenge; these are paintings for a lifetime of contemplation, subtle and rich. Lost in thought I will often look at a small section of a large canvas and be overwhelmed (quite literally) by the beauty of a phrase, surprised by a previously unseen movement of color and then the light changes, or my mood, and once again I see another thing; I see the ocean, the river, the forests from which they draw deep inspiration.
The sources for these paintings track with the artist, the style tightly reflects him as an individual; physical, graceful and minutely present. Leith paints with his entire body, draws from a lifetime of engagement with the elements, a skateboard or the feeling of skateboarding at 3am pops up incongruously in a fine art canvas, an aboriginal patterning, a contemporary wall of street art, a classical Victorian palette splashing up beside a jungle waterfall of suggestions...
Leith's art is emotional, honest, human and peppered with joy.