Bartok seeks to emulate a children’s book, or a beginner’s guide to learning a language, in an effort to probe an infinitely complex set of concerns in the most simple of terms. The over-arching theme of an unhealthy society full of contradictory expectations could be written about endlessly: The inflated individualism of contemporary capitalism and the opposing, but not incompatible concerns of fame and loneliness in an age of digital interconnectedness are a rich vein of study.
Bartok seeks to distill these conditions down to absurdism. But not an absurdism obtained through exaggeration. This absurdity is in plain sight of us all, yet we take little notice of it. - David Greenhalgh, 2016.
"I paint my subjects with a deadpan line because my subjects are tragic. It’s true that there's a lot to celebrate today, but it has come about through society's ability to recognise the worst aspects of itself."