On the occasion of John Copeland’s exhibition, Your Heaven Looks Just Like My Hell at the Newport Street Gallery in London in February 2018 (see photos here), the publishing house Other Criteria publishes a beautiful catalog of a hundred pages. There are clichés of twenty-five paintings, from 2009 to 2017, from the Murderme collection and presented for the first time in this exhibition. Oscillating between figurative art and abstraction, John Copeland’s paintings feature tactile, pasted surfaces made with oil and acrylic paint. Passionate about structures that involve interaction between the characters represented, Copeland often places his subjects in social settings – around a table, playfully balancing on each other, or observing a group painting. The characters of the artist, however, remain deeply ambiguous and are based on abstract backgrounds peopled by curious and amorphous forms. The disturbing quality of Copeland’s imagery is accentuated by the appearance of double or reflections of human forms. The Brooklyn artist describes the contents of his paintings as a “starting point for a conversation or digression … like an enigma or poem that raises questions that can not really be answered.” He works from a a plethora of sources, usually photographic, of mid-twentieth century magazine cuts, images of Americana culture and bikers, among others. His work is, in large part, an exploration of “the act of the gaze”. He says, “I’m interested in the dynamics between the surface and the undercurrent, the myths and the realities.” The book is now available on the online store of Other Criteria.