Joe Currie, Matt Brotherhood

24 May 2008 – 29 Jun 2008

V22 Ashwinstreet

London, United Kingdom


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V22 are pleased to present a selection of new drawings by two separate artists, Joe Currie and Matt Brotherhood. Both artists draw on pop culture and surrounding imagery from the past and the present day. Where Brotherhood evades an outspoken message, his ideas are refined through connections within a collection of works. Currie on the other hand uses his works to convey an angry and frustrated message. If you follow the line in Joe Currie's intricate pen drawings you will find dystopia. Beautiful to look at, like an Arthur Rackham illustration, Currie uses his pen to preach his angry message. Influenced by graphic novels Joe Currie's work illustrates the lunacy and vulnerability of the world due to an excess of misplaced power and greed. Starting in on colonialism, Currie uses an image of a John Wayne/Errol Flynn faced bird perched on a branch above a canon to criticise how the first world has benefited from slavery. He then takes on capitalism in 'Your Country Needs You' and the exploitation of workers in the UK. 'Solar Circumnavigation' is a burning ship symbolising our resistance to change and our continuing desire to stick with a bad idea. The only sculpture in the show, 'Eat Yourself' (aluminium resin cast on red plinth), is a genetic freak beast, representing us, and how our need to feed ourselves is killing us. Currie takes this metaphor to its most literal interpretation with the drawing of a man attempting fellatio upon himself - an embarrassingly futile act which reduces man and mankind to a sad gobbling animal intent on self destruction. British Rail, the food crisis, ailing technologies and Daily Mail nimbyism provide the content for his meticulous neurotic mark makings, revealing just how close we are to unravelling. Matt Brotherhood's work emerges through images and objects inspired and appropriated from popular culture - films, adverts, music and interiors. Referencing media from outside the conventional field of art - counterculture style and comic books, homemade posters, and the art of the untrained, all these give shape to Brotherhood's unique work. Subject matter depicted through the medium of pen and brush conveys a series of suppressed emotional and mental states. These themes are explored as the artist illustrates important or deceptive social fantasies and fears. His pictures are somehow familiar but lie far beyond the common imaginative realm. Brotherhood's intuitive and meditative response to his subject matter effortlessly invades the brain. His proliferation of drawings and paintings add up as the artist's pursuit is slowly revealed through a continuous thread between individual pieces. Like the ethnographer trying to understand the way we live and think, he stoushes with the normalness of things. He sees contradiction within an original idea and explores this using various elements, the melancholic and the funny, the fascinating and the grotesque, as his mechanism.

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