The pinnacle of modernity once lay in the hands of the Sodastream; add bubbles to anything and fizz up your life, wine to champagne, fruit juice to pop. The Sodastream is a case of artistic hooliganism, a culture of bad taste repetitively appropriating to add a bit of sparkle. Slick and mesmerising production adding nothing more than a bit of air. The works of these five artist contain a prototype for art where face value and hidden undertones clash like a Sex Pistols interview on prime time TV.1 Dead pan jokes and glistening aesthetic all meld into a strange yet uplifting cocktail.
William Meredew's work is drenched crass jokes, bad taste and kitsch beyond kitsch. Crabs become canvas painted with the landscape they once resided, marble plinths become spinning relics to some kind of holy sea monster accompanied by an orchestration of clichéd opera. The work employs a humour so dire you have to laugh, all veiled under an aesthetic of mass consumer domesticity.
Leonard Johansson's work dives around the field of impasto oil painting, deep rich colours and a jagged graphic style act as the basis for a chorus of painterly cross rhythms. Riffs laid over drum beats, licks and lyrics cross paths fighting for their voice. Text shoots around his work only to be impaled by a slice of paint or jabbing brush strokes, meanwhile hints of graphic linear forms allude to the visuals of comic culture and graphic novels.
Dean Brierley's work takes its cues from the pastel shades of Miami Vice and dreamy Americana utopianism. Palm trees, gold chains and whimsical lone clouds all combine to create a cocktail of dreamy Californian wonderment. The work spins around a beat of decorative obsession, squares infiltrating the works and surrounding walls like a virus, mirrors and gold chains hint at a glam and alluring opulence.
Harry Hurlock's work is a meld of conceptual photography, vibrant energetic paintings and inquisitive text pieces such as "48 hours" which involved a revealing diary into everything the artist carried out within 2 days. His work considers painting's limits but also its expansive reaches to alter the world. Paintings such as "Knowing that I cannot do with a brush what you could do with a violin" attempt to contain nature within a painterly context whilst pieces such as "White Jigsaw" highlight the inherent absurd capacities of paint to achieve nothing.
Declan Colquitt's work circulates around text as pure concept, forcing the viewer into the role of editor, translator, creator of the whole. Confusion and understandability act as an artistic medium in themselves, words get used like oil paint, mixing and blending, at times jarring into abstraction. Language becomes unstable, unhinged from its roots within daily life creating complexities and questions around pre existing belief systems of our knowledge.
1 Bill Grundy and The Sex Pistols - Today Programme
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