The Artists

Sebastiaan Bremer

born 1970 Netherlands

Sister Sister 2004
Ink on C-print. Courtesy of Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin and Roebling Hall, New York. © the artist.

Sebastiaan Bremer’s images originate as snapshots taken by his friends and family, which he then enlarges and draws over, using ink and retouching paint. His ethereal drawings create a delicate mist that obscures parts of the image, while highlighting others. This clouding effect evokes the use of photography by nineteenth-century spiritualists, who believed that it could capture the body’s phantasmagoric aura. Bremer cites the symbolist painter Odilon Redon as an influence; and like Redon, the world of dreams, desires and death plays upon the surface of the these photographs.

   

Matt Bryans

born 1977 England

Untitled 2004
Erased newspaper. Courtesy of the artist and Kate MacGarry, London. © the artist.

Matt Bryans snips out black-and-white images from assorted newspapers, and using an eraser, rubs away identifying features to leave only eyes, mouths and shadowy silhouettes. These cuttings are then collaged together, spreading like a growth across the wall. Images of international politicians and celebrities, their physical characteristics obliterated beyond recognition, sit alongside anonymous individuals, similarly camouflaged. Bryans has expressed an interest in shamanism and primitive art, and there is an almost primal quality to these works, revealing hitherto hidden animal-like qualities in human faces. Similarly, the paper itself seems to be returning to a more organic earlier state, reverting to its origin in wood and forest.

   

Amie Dicke

born 1978 Netherlands

Isabeli 2004
Cut out, ink on paper
Poju & Anita Zabludowicz Collection. Courtesy of peres projects, Los Angeles. © the artist.

Amie Dicke started cutting away fashion posters when she was on a residency in New York. ‘I started to project my loneliness on the city where the most familiar faces were those of the supermodels on the buildings and in the magazines,’ she has said. Dicke turns the familiar images of advertising into something rare and strange, revealing the dark, gothic structures that lie beneath their surface. Images intended to project desirability, are exposed as empty and hollow. The models appear as phantoms, the flow of forms echoing tears as they cascade down the body.

   

Godfried Donkor

born 1964 Ghana

Black Madonna I 2001
Mixed media collage on paper. Courtesy of the artist. © the artist.

Godfried Donkor’s collages fuse symbols of the eighteenth-century slave trade with images of contemporary Trinidadian glamour girls, set against a backdrop of pages from the Financial Times. Donkor, who was born in Ghana but now lives in London, juxtaposes these incongruous elements as a means of scrutinising themes of capitalism, globalisation and liberation. His luscious and alluring ‘black madonnas’ emerge, phoenix-like from below the decks of the lithographed slave ships, in a triumphantly brazen, carnival-like celebration of human endurance.

   

Dr. Lakra

born 1972 Mexico

Mosquitoes 2003
Ink and paint on vintage magazine. Courtesy of Kate MacGarry, London. © the artist.

Dr. Lakra is a Mexican tattoo artist who started applying his designs to old magazine covers and pin-ups as a way of developing his craft. The pin-up, as an embodiment of our desires and emotions, is a ripe subject for subversion, and Lakra’s drawings are surreal, satirical, and humorous. Like graffiti, the drawings attack the relative innocence of the original, and the newly decorated models seem to luxuriate in their diabolically embellished bodies.

Dr. Lakra continues to practise as a tattooist, and though the drawings are shown here as artworks in their own right, they mark an intersection between popular culture and art.

   

Wangechi Mutu

born 1972 Kenya

Untitled (Classic Profile Series) 2003
Ink, collage on mylar. Collection of Larry Mathews, San Francisco. Courtesy of the artist and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. © the artist.

Wangechi Mutu’s hybridised drawings and collages combine imagery from fashion magazines, ethnographic photo-essays and wildlife journals. Kenyan born, and now based in New York, her monstrous characters are embodiments of the violent disjunction between affluent Western consumerism and the majority of the world’s impoverished population. A frequent motif in Mutus work is the distended and mutated figure, which challenges obsessions with physical appearance and beauty.

   

Jockum Nordström

born 1963 Sweden

The Order of Things 2004
Mixed media on paper. Collection of Pontus Bonnier, Stockholm. Courtesy of Galleri Magnus Karlsson, Stockholm and David Zwirner, New York. © the artist.

Jockum Nordström’s deadpan, eccentric collages deal with a range of themes, from modernist architecture, classical and jazz music, to sex, which is of the comical rather than erotic variety. His scenarios portray absurd collisions between everyday life and fantasy, and reveal a diverse range of influences, from Jean Dubuffet, James Ensor and David Hockney to traditional folk art and Surrealism.

   

Steven Shearer

born 1968 Canada

Untitled Digi-prints 1999-2004
Artist’s multiple. Courtesy of the artist and Galleria Franco Noero, Turin. © the artist.

Steven Shearer creates a form of collage using images found on the internet and from his own personal collection of memorabilia. In Guitar No 5, Shearer has gathered numerous images of people showing off with their electric guitars. Shearer’s poster installations represent the clearest demonstration of the artist’s interests: his wall-to-ceiling poster displays juxtapose modernist design, psychedelic imagery, utopian children’s art projects from the 1960s and 1970s, with the imagery of teen-bands, fanzines and death-metal music.

   

Nicole Wermers

born 1971 Germany

Untitled (Glass collage) 2003
Collage, magazine pages. Courtesy Produzentengalerie, Hamburg. © the artist.

Nicole Wermers explores the interface between elegance and trash in contemporary society. Using glossy architectural and fashion magazines as source material, her works move between the seductive codes of contemporary design, fashion and advertising and the more rigorous visual language of modernist abstraction. The collages shown here were created from fragments of perfume bottle advertisements. They have the dreamy, otherworldly quality of stained glass. Having shed all reference to the subject of the original advertisement the image that is left presents the pure, formal elegance of refracted glass.