If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, this collection appears to be the very definition of flattery, but it’s not all about paying homage to the celebrities and muses who have defined their respective fields. It’s more about questioning about how we look at these figures and challenging the assumptions and associations the viewer holds with them.
Popped! brings together six artists through several different mediums, fusing Tyler Shields’ high-impact photography with Mason Storm’s mixed media sculpture, which uses scrabble tiles, police tale and figurines to spell words you wouldn’t find in your average family board game. Emerging talent from Monaco Lukas Avalon’s inventive collages paid homage to Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol, with bright and multi-layered works featuring Kate Moss, Cara Delevingne and Grace Kelly.
The concept of celebrities being treated as royalty is explored with Mason Storm’s portrayal of Vivenne Westwood with a sovereign’s orb and floral crown, as well as Romero Britto’s reimagining of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s engagement photo. Here, Britto ‘pops’ the image, using block patterns and bright colours to enter the couple into Warhol’s world and highlight that they are not only royalty but also truly modern celebrities.
…that curiously fit and challenge the associations we hold with both…
In other mediums, Day-Z’s intricate and beautifully drawn pencil drawings intersect well known images in pairs that curiously fit and challenge the associations we hold with both; Charlie Chaplin with the Chanel logo, Snow White and the Apple logo. Tyler Shields’ impactful Birkin collection is on public display for the first time, questioning the reverence surrounding the infamous Hermés handbag.
What these images all do, without conveying a personal view, is challenge the viewer to reconsider the images we see around us every day. The use of a variety of media in this exhibit highlights the transcendence of the subjects featured, as they cross decades, generations and technological advances. The immediate accessibility of the exhibit has proven itself by the successful sales figures of the pieces – many unique works have already sold, with the exhibit not yet over. For a thoughtful and considered modern look at the icons we hold most dear, hop down to Imitate Modern.