The artists of “Brand Loyalty; I’m lovin’ it” take inspiration from the oversaturation of corporate logos, trademarking and the constant bombardment of media telling us what we need to make our lives more fulfilled. . . .
exhibition: “Brand Loyalty, I’m lovin’ it,” with Ron ENGLISH, Alben, Desire Obtain Cherish, WhIsBe, Greg HABERNY, Zevs, Chad GORDON, & more.
Wednesday, 03/04 – Sunday, 04/19 / Gallery Nine5
24 Spring Street
New York, NY 10012
gallery nine5 is pleased to announce their latest exhibition, “Brand Loyalty, I’m lovin’ it,” curated by Natalie Kates of Natalie Kates Projects. The group show examines the contemporary culture of neo-iconic imagery perpetuated by corporations and the media. Showcasing a wide range of Neo-Pop artists, “Brand Loyalty, i’m lovin’ it” presents the pervasive nature of logos and brands as they appear literally, humorously, and somberly in everything from sculpture to canvas.
Ron English’s The Greatest Story Ever Sold exemplifies the ubiquity of brand imagery into the canon of our contemporary age. Using the classical figure of Jesus on the cross, English merges religious archetypes with tongue-in-cheek reinterpretations of corporate logos. Despite the changes English has made to the wording of corporate slogans, viewers recognize the colors and fonts of corporate brands, just as immediately as they recognize the figure of Jesus.
French street artist Alben has always employed iconography as a tool in his works, from his earlier spray-painted canvases with images of the Queen or Mick Jagger to his most recent series of sculptures. Conflating iconography across artistic and historical canons, Alben encases discarded items like McDonald’s french fry boxes and Tide detergent into classical figures of Venus of Samothrace and Venus of Milo.
Desire Obtain Cherish has established himself as a shrewd commentator on the luxury consumerism rampant in today’s society. His Designer Drugs series conflates designer logos with prescription drugs, offering a critique on society’s over-reliance on brand items and pharmaceuticals alike. Shrink-wrapped Yves Saint Laurent, Hermès and Louis Vuitton pills offer temporary satisfaction from our addictions.
For Brand Loyalty, street artist WhIsBe will be creating a signature site-specific installation of works on canvas installed against custom-designed wallpaper. Using tiny “pop” icons, the artist generates optical illusions in the layering of his work, drawing his audiences in physically and mentally, as they strain to make out the messages in his work. A play on the word “pop” which refers to both the soda cans and the bombs miniaturized and repeated on his work rounds out the mischievous ingenuity of his art.
Greg Haberny’s Neo-Expressionist works find dark inspiration in his child-like view of the world surrounding him. His Ajax Bird, for example, comments on the use of household cleaning supplies in lower-income families as a means of escaping the realities of the world. It is at once innocent and cynical, replete with an acute sense of loss.
Illuminated Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Odalisque Sepia by Zevs combines a classical painting with contemporary corporate logos, imprinting the figure of a nude woman with the repeating pattern of a designer bag. By juxtaposing a French neoclassical style with the “design” of a luxury item, Zevs comments on the conflation of luxury fine art items with consumer products, creating a visual marriage of the two.
Zach Schrey’s cartoonized Untitled pieces feature designer logos dripping with animated paint. The logos ooze with a gooey, caricaturized sick sweetness, pushing their original appeal to the edge of desirability. Placed against a backdrop of bright colors and patterns, the artificiality of the logos becomes even more apparent.
Neo-Pop artist Steve Ellis has always used topical issues in contemporary society as his vehicle for social commentary. In his piece, Weekly Ouch, Ellis paints, with stunning detail, the crumpled papers of a tabloid magazine. Its title “Weekly Ouch” conveys the true message hidden in gossip – the desire to inflict pain for pure entertainment’s sake.
Chad Gordon’s Achilles’ Notch series speaks to the economic pressures that almost comically overwhelm consumers on a daily basis. Despite the advertised sale prices, the accumulative weight and burden of constant shopping bears down until individuals are buried deep in piles of 99-cent stickers, covering all semblance of humanity.
Replacing all brand names with his own, Sket One creates works that places the artist in the place of a marketing team. By using everyday-use items, like condiments found on any kitchen table in any American household, Sket One both subverts and idolizes marketing labels, elevating them to the point of fine art with dripping white paint while simultaneously marring its perfect exterior.