Peres Projects is pleased to bring together for the first time the works of Mike Bouchet (b. 1970), Mark Flood (b. 1957) and David Ostrowski (b. 1981) for the Features sector of Art Basel 2015.
These three artists represent the different generational outlooks represented in the gallery’s program and, more specifically, perspectives of how branded content, whether celebrity or corporate, can be explored and exploited by an artist in their work. We live in an era where image is more important than ever, celebrities have become businesses and even corporations have become akin to people with their own identities and characteristics personified through astute branding. To accomplish full cultural penetration, these advanced capitalistic machines expend untold resources to create a considerable amount of branded content which permeates almost every aspect of daily life. Bouchet, Flood, and Ostrowksi each mine this never-ending volume of imagery and content, dissecting and scrutinizing every aspect of these images to create new takes on portraiture and public identity.
In Mike Bouchet’s “Jacuzzi” sculpture series, the artist creates abstract objects in the form of jacuzzis, a 1980s symbol of American middle-class success, reproduced with cheap cardboard that is then coated with fiber glass and painted in pop colors. Like most bourgeois trappings, through the subversion of material and form, these loaded objects become useless symbols. They are dedicated in their titles to the famous, the infamous, and sometimes those who are currently wishing to be better known in the world.
Mark Flood, on the other hand, has been mining the cult of celebrity since the early 1980s, physically and literally distorting publicity images in every imaginable way through collage, reprinting and over painting celebrity portraits and advertising. More recently, Flood has set his gaze on the logos of corporations, which themselves have become as identifiable as some of the people who promote their products. Again, he distorts the corporate logo as a way of giving us a new image, undermining the great lengths corporations go to control their image.
David Ostrowski’s abstract paintings, which he views as emotional expressions, often become associated with the noteworthy via his titles or through the use of periodicals as a medium. Ostrowski collages identifiers on a otherwise blank or barely painted canvas. One could say that Ostrowski’s view of his subject is that he or she is as void and empty of content as his canvases.
With historic and new works on paper, on canvas and sculpture, Peres Projects highlights the practices of three of our gallery artists coming from both Europe and the United States, whose rigorous studio practices are representative of the gallery’s mission to present the work of contemporary artists who challenge, dissect and comment on the times we live in.