CHART gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new and previously unseen works by Darren Coffield
âQuo Vadis', (translation âwhere are you going?') 'is both a rhetorical and justified questioning of viewer and subject matter as Coffield links together the strands of culture, identity, politics, empire and authorship.
Raising fundamental questions and drawing historic parallels of how we see and perceive ourselves against the backdrop of film and media, Coffield presents a diverse body of work in different media including painting, collage and 3D pieces
The centrepiece to the show is a new set of portraits in oil pastel depicting the characters from the film âBen Hur', (ancient history retold by Hollywood) alongside unique abstract jigsaw collages of London's imperialist and religious landmarks. There is also a selection of paintings connected to the events of 9/11, a set of portraits that investigate Eastern identity and a portrait of David Cameron in Coffield's signature âParadox' style.
As a collection, the exhibition presents a dynamic interrogation of the complexities and banalities we are offered on a daily basis through mass-communication and global capitalism.
It is no coincidence that the title of the exhibition is taken from the classic novel by Polish novelist Henryk Sienkiewicz, published in 1896. Set during the period of Nero's reign as Caesar, who famously played music whilst Rome burned, âQuo Vadis' was disseminated worldwide without the author's permission. Sienkiewicz received little financial reward, a situation pertinent to the present, where authorship and the rights of artists in a digital age are under threat from the proposed laws by the Conservative government to allow business to freely exploit the copyright of artists.
Darren Coffield was born in London in 1969 and studied at Goldsmiths College, Camberwell School of Art and the Slade School of Art in London. He has exhibited widely at venues ranging from the Courtauld Institute, Somerset House to Voloshin Museum, Crimea. Coffield was the only artist to be shortlisted for these three major UK Art competitions in 2010: The John Moores Contemporary Painting Prize; The BP Portrait Award at The National Portrait Gallery and The Threadneedle Prize. Coffield lives and works in London.
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