Written by Marlon Dolcy
22 Monday 22nd November 2010

Byroglyphics’ second solo exhibition at Signal Gallery will take you on a visual journey through an array of different styles, ranging from the classical, the surreal and pop. His work focuses on the human form achieved with the competence of a grand master. His new show Subsidiary opened for public view this Friday.

Russ Mills, otherwise known as Byroglyphics, explores some dark territory on a personal level in this current show. Focusing on the inner demons that give a platform to his art, this show is a collection of gothic imagery of portraits of women. This is a welcome departure from the norm of most urban artists who prefer to deal with large socio-political issues. Operating primarily in black and white, his art is a clash of different styles, which almost appears to be as if another artist was exhibiting with him.
His large canvasses showcase his illustrative background, with lavishes of splattered paint applied with complex dexterity. These are achieved by applying a unique type print flat mounted onto the panel. His focused drawings in pen, ink and pencil show portraits of women displaying both physical and emotional human idiosyncrasies, while his miniature portraits show oriental women, made by applying mixed media on vintage Chinese paper.
Subsidiary appears to cover themes of superficiality and isolation. How this relates on a personal level is entirely with the artist himself. It could be that what society perceives as beauty in women is in his eyes is entirely superficial, and to convey this he distorts the physical and emotional in distorted forms. On the surface the main portraits are glamorous, but peel away the layers and you’ll find loitering gloom with a sense of isolation. This mystery adds intensity to his work and increases its allure.
What is prevalent is that these new works offer fantastic aesthetic qualities that express an extreme confidence in an artist who has spent almost 20 years crafting his skills and absorbing influences from every aspect of visual culture. By his own admission Mills claimed that by the time he reached his 30s he still did not know what to do with his life. It is perhaps safe to say that many people are grateful that he chose to pursue a career in the visual arts.
Byroglyphics’ exhibition Subsidiary is on at the Signal Gallery, Shoreditch until December 11.

Don't Panic attempt to credit photographers and content owners wherever possible, however due to the sheer size and nature of the internet this is sometimes impractical or impossible. If you see any images on our site which you believe belong to yourself or another and we have incorrectly used it please let us know at and we will respond asap.