is a group show featuring seven international and London based artists. Each
work is informed by, or comments on aspects of celebrity culture and lifestyle.
In his brightly
coloured paintings, Amar Stewart explores aspects of pop culture
from Hip-Hop to Rock n’ Roll through iconic faces. The paintings on show
at Imitate Modern depict Jay-Z and [David Bowie's] Ziggy
Stardust, executed in oil with delicate brush strokes combining a realist
style against areas of blurry abstraction that give the fleeting feeling of a
camera shutter closing.
main wall of the gallery space are a selection from Tyler Shields’
mutilated Birkin bag series -large scale photographs that literally deconstruct
the ultimate female celebrity accessory. Shields is best known as a celebrity
photographer, which is evident in the dynamic shots. These photographs refuse
to pay homage or suck up to the statement Birkin bag (designed by Hermès
for singer and actress Jane Birkin, now favoured by the likes of Alexa
Chung) and instead do the unthinkable - rip it apart. These photographs
have an echo of 70s performance art - updated for our brand obsessed times -
documenting the destruction of an icon in order to make an equally desirable
art work from it.
Elsewhere Day-z’s critique on
branding is more subtle as she effortlessly overlaps famous faces with
logos; injecting humour whilst commenting on the notion of ubiquitous
branding. There is an inherent skill evident in her drawings -as
she depicts a sullen Charlie Chaplin sitting on the Channel
logo almost as if it were the Hollywood sign
itself. Her drawing of Snow White portrays the Disney princess
holding the 'poisoned apple' but, is pictured here as the ubiquitous Apple logo
with a pair of ipod earphones plugged into it. Day-z makes an astute
association between notions of branding being so recognisable that
they can be inserted into any setting, alongside the very idea of
material temptation and seduction.
of celebrity have been prevalent in contemporary art for a long time from Andy
Warhols 60s prints to Elizabeth Peyton's dreamy small scale
paintings, Popped offers an interesting round up of artists currently
looking for new interpretations. The artists work shows how celebrity culture
can permeate into collective memory and throughout the exhibition hang
potent reminders of who, and what continue to be idolised.
Popped is at Imitate Modern until September