Barry Reigate

Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory

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Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory
Barry Reigate
Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory
2008
Neon stick strip light, jesmonite, ply & gloss paint
181 x 149cm

Barry Reigate’s sculptures and paintings enshrine the most basic instincts of desire and horror. Reflective of the aggression and violence of working class stereotype, Reigate adopts a brash, ‘no-apologies’ attitude towards the levelling of cultural hierarchy. Using loaded signifiers, such as Mickey Mouse minstrels and the hedonistic decadence of 80s Memphis design, his work ironically revives the ethos of ‘primitivism’ and the edgy indulgence of the neo-geo period to construct darkly humorous parodies of today’s attitudes towards commodity, fetish, and cultural taboo. His use of controversial subjects serves to underscore the hypocrisy that surrounds issues such as sexuality, race and class. “To want to do something about society’s political mess in art seems a bit apologetic in that it needs a validation.” Reigate divulges. “What I’m interested in is this ‘going nowhere’ against progress: an energised apathy, which expends itself through art production.”


     
 


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