Never Bet Against Me
The gallery will be closed on Tuesday 5th July 2011
everybody rappin like its a commercial acting like life is a big commercial Beastie Boys, 1992
its up to me now, turn on the bright lights Interpol, 2002
turn up the lights in here baby, extra bright i want y’all to see this Kanye West, 2010
A giant video billboard in the centre of Venice relentlessly sends its messages to the Biennale traffic, Venetian locals and the tourist trade. Slater Bradley’s ’message’ briefly appears then is replaced by the next message until that too goes, and so on until Bradley’s returns again, and again. The staccato messages are curated by Neville Wakefield for Commercial Break, an intervention in a city that never advertises exploring the commercialisation of culture. Bradley’s ‘advertisement’ is for his forthcoming show at Max Wigram Gallery organised around culturally and socially mediated bravado and the collapse of the space between celebrity and fan.
Bradley’s show – NEVER BET AGAINST ME - evolves his interest in the paradigm shift of youth culture from the dark to the light; from the underground shadows to the ‘extra bright’ social media driven mainstream that has occurred over the past twenty years. Bradley spins this psychological transition in a lyrical sampling ranging from Nirvana to Kanye West in which he interpolates symbols from the Voyager Golden Records (the 1977 phonograph records of Earth’s sounds and images sent into space on the Voyager spacecraft) into a series of new oil paintings. NEVER BET AGAINST ME is a channelling of ’cosmic hip-hop bravado’, a summation of the human spirit at this juncture in time and space. The new paintings address the antagonism between self-discovery and selling out within the analog generation of the 90’s, the cynical appropriation of subcultures through advertising, and the sincere, fluid re-appropriation of these branding strategies by a digital generation of targeted youth.
Translating youthful projections into idolisation and ultimately fetishism, and investigating the mythologies built around musical heroes on the quest for identity Bradley adopts the aesthetics of pre-internet era band paraphernalia to highlight the shift in the reception and dissemination of cultural artefacts, legends and identity.
Notes to Editors
Slater Bradley lives and works in New York. Recent solo museum exhibitions include Slater Bradley and Ed Lachman: Shadow, Whitney Museum of American Art, NY (2010-11)) and Frans Hals Museum|De Hallen Haarlem, (The Netherlands, 2009) He has shown in major exhibitions internationally with the distinction of being the youngest male artist to have a solo exhibition at The Solomon R Guggenheim Museum (NY 2005). Group shows include Haunted, Guggenheim (Bilbao, Spain, 2010); The Loudest, Gallery Koko (Japan, 2010); Kurt, Seattle Art Museum (2010); 100years (Version No.2); PS1, Long Island City (2009); Youth of Today, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt (2006); The Gravity of Art (2005), De Appel Foundation (Amsterdam); Superstars – The Principle of Renown (2005), Kunsthalle Wien (Vienna) and Whitney Biennial (NY, 2004).