Born 1976, Sydney, New South Wales
In his direct and uninflected pictures Paul Knight shows ordinary people doing the things ordinary people do, but ordinary photographers don't photograph. The literal and emotional nakedness of his camera subjects is remarkably frank. Knight has gone to great lengths to avoid the kind of mundane blandness or gritty exposé that often characterises social realist photography. His photographs are intensely intimate and strangely ambiguous. The viewer cannot know for certain whether these are scenes of love or despair, ecstasy or anger. The cumulative effect, however, is distinctly bleak, and creates an impression that Knight is stripping away some of the niceties of conventional appearance that give society its comfortable insulation.
He presents scenes of slightly skewed normality with unfiltered brightness and clarity that eliminate the possibility of evocative atmosphere. The images are uncompromising and sometimes startling, but instead of harshness, their realism creates an unexpectedly poetic tenderness. As in the paintings of Lucian Freud, the voluptuousness and vulnerability of flesh becomes a subject in its own right. The situations that Knight depicts are often emotionally charged, yet give no sense of theatricality. Viewers get the strange feeling of actually being there, but we're not sure we should be.
Timothy Morellfrom his Samstag catalogue essay, Loose connections
2007 Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship
2007 Master of Fine Art, Glasgow School of Art, Scotland, UK
2001 Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours), Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne