Josh Rowell


Virtually Fragile #6, 2019

Acrylic on wood panel

120 x 180 cm



20% will be donated to the NHS

The series Virtually Fragile comments on the potential total loss of information and the resulting shift back into apparent chaos that can be experienced once we become disconnected from the internet. Despite their complete abstract look, these works are painted entirely from reality, becoming hyper-realistic paintings that require months of paint with extreme precision with some lines as thin as 2 millimetres.

Working directly from found images of broken smartphone screens or breaking used screens himself, Rowell seeks to highlight the fact that the digital world, despite its seemingly limitless potential, is not yet immortal. Like all things, our personal relationship with the virtual realm is temporal; as we enter into the digital world through our screens, the gateway through which we travel can just as soon be taken away from us with one false move, one simple drop of our cell phone or TV. We can understand here that the digital world is still, ultimately answerable to the physical world, hence remaining virtually fragile.


Work in progress picture, 2019