Harpies drape themselves in pearls and wind their bodies around Art Deco ornaments on Fitzpatrick’s bronzer-gold canvases. Multiple copies of Brian Johnson, the 45-year-old billionaire face of anti-ageing therapy, haunt the room. His empty eyes betray a craving for the elixir of youth so consuming that it can only be satisfied by sacrifice.
In a bout of dark humour, Fitzpatrick nourishes this extractive dependency and prototypes a human growth hormone home brewing kit. The apparatus is assembled from salvaged Christian devotionalia and comes with an order of kindly nuns who watch over the proceedings. Beads for counting – or prayer – meter out the ritual. The reward for taking part in this experiment of life is ascension to the holy orders.
This would be a cynical caricature if it weren’t all true. Fitzpatrick’s sculpture and painting follow a rigorous research protocol deep into our molecular-spiritual system. Work by work, they build an ornate map intelligible only after decades of devoted study and even then, only to the divine. There’s no fast promise in this practice, but it’s the only way to reverse art’s schism with the image.