London-based artist Ben Turnbull presents ‘No Guts No Glory’, a new solo exhibition comprised of various mixed media works, at Saatchi Gallery from 11 April – 8 May 2017.
‘No Guts No Glory’ produces a sequential visual story following young American G.I.’s, documenting their experience from departure to homecoming. Marrying themes of heroism, sacrifice and human purpose with popular Americana, Turnbull has used all-American artefacts, including flags, comics, toys and military attire, to create this ‘Memorial Pop’ exhibition in London.
Meticulously cut-out and collaged images of propaganda, soldiers, and scenes of war are constructed from vintage U.S. comic books (pictured). A trilogy of portraits remark upon the country’s global combat history and entrenched war culture, and in ‘The Return Of The Living Dead’, used M-65 field jackets and authentic memorial funeral flags act as a statement of the horror and trauma of coming home to face an even greater fight, whether from Pearl Harbour, Vietnam or Afghanistan. In Turnbull’s ‘Postcards’ series, a sequence of scenes of tranquillity are shrouded in hand-cut comic book cover letters, forming heart felt words sent by marines in real life letters to loved ones back home.
Ben Turnbull says: ‘Propaganda meets patriotism in this original series of montage works. Crafted and cut from vintage U.S. materials, the work reminds us of the reasons why we fight and the beliefs that influence us to do so. Inspired by the recruitment posters of James Montgomery Flagg and echoing true stories from Arlington, Virginia, this project acts as a memorial to the lives given for the ultimate sacrifice.’
‘No Guts No Glory’ will be accompanied by a brochure taking the form of a folding flag echoing the ritualistic process used at military burials. For the first time two of Turnbull’s original works will be available to purchase as deluxe limited edition prints.