“It comes as no surprise that Neal Rock’s works bear the visual evidence of their descendance from the turn-of-the-fifties work of Pollock, as they take a cue from, and also update, his project-producing a gesturally ordered accumulation of material that pushes beyond abstraction into a literal presence that simply is, but that simultaneously speaks of its age.
It comes as no surprise as well that Rock’s work is substantially different from that of Pollock, not just because it arrives at the other end of a long chain of experimentation in painting’s terrain of the literal, but also because his is a different age.
Rock has himself spoken of interests in infection, in horror movies, in hidden languages, and in confections, and his work has been discussed significantly in relation to the last of these, but none of these are what he pictures or even abstracts, and none ultimately are what his work is about.
Rather his works speak, or perhaps one should better say his works ooze, of a cultural moment of which these things are symptomatic or euphemistic. Is it any wonder that Rock’s works invoke a sweetness that cannot be separated from petulance, pestilence and pustulance? Is it so surprising that his infection/confections seem perpetually to spread, enveloping themselves and their environs in a kind of bloated baroque theater? And considering that Pollock needed fluidity in the ordering of his material to express his age, is it any wonder that Rock needs materials that ooze, cake, clump and clot?
Is it any wonder that as, in Pollock’s words, ‘each age find its own technique,’ Neal Rock, has in this age, found silicon pumped through an icing funnel?” – Christopher Miles, February 2006 (excerpt from exhibition ‘Pingere Triptych’, Grand Arts, Kansas City Missouri, USA)
Born in Port Talbot, Wales, Rock lives and works in Los Angeles and London and exhibits internationally.