Dominic From Luton

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Dominic From Luton
Dominic From Luton As Margaret Thatcher, 2011
Triptych, C-Type print from digital negative
104.5 x 79 x 4.5 cm

In 2004, Luton was voted ‘Britain’s Crappiest Town’, which has made it, for the artist known as Dominic from Luton, “a glorious window of opportunity, because no one likes it.” Escaping from the shackles of dreary suburbia is a well-worn trope of popular culture – everyone needs something to kick against – but for Dominic, the town itself is the muse, not the spur to head for the bright lights. Take Shoes Off If You Love Luton!, a photo of a man’s arm, tattooed with a 99 Flake ice cream, holding aloft a single Reebok Classic trainer against a British summer sky.

Dominic From Luton
Shoes Off If You Love Luton !, 2012
C-type print
237.8 X 168 cm

The visual language (that of 1980s leisure and childhood summers) announces Dominic’s particular interests: the iconography of small town Britain. Dominic’s work draws on decades-old imagery to suggest a country stuck in a cultural rut. In the self-explanatory Dominic from Luton as Margaret Thatcher, the artist is photographed in bad drag, gesticulating as though mid-speech, in a crumbling toilet, or wheeling a wheelchair furiously along the balcony of a council block: political history replayed as panto.

Dominic From Luton
D.O.G, 2012
C-type print
84.1 x 118.9 cm

There’s a historical stasis in Dominic’s work reflected in his use of the photograph as an agent of stillness. My Dad’s Pants, a sad line-up of baggy y-fronts on a radiator, is a photograph that parades its lack of visual interest as a kind of taunt. Dare you not to bother looking, it seems to say. Ignore it.

Dominic From Luton
My Dad's Pants, 2013
C-type print on aluminium
81 x 122 cm

Text by Ben Street



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