AF Projects: Blue Curry
For his first exhibition with AF Projects Blue Curry presents a new series of freestanding and wall based sculpture. Born in Nassau, and one of the leading contemporary artists in the Bahamas, Curry makes work that draws on the fetishistic nature of the concept of ‘the exotic’, often incorporating into his sculpture found objects that come loaded with exotic association. These ‘charged’ objects are then worked into elegant sculptural arrangements that play on the aesthetic & associative values of the various components, combining the fantastical and the banal into new and beguiling forms.
Curry’s artistic relationship with his Bahamian background is both a serious and a playful one. As a Caribbean artist living and working in London he finds himself occasionally considered something of an ambassador for a movement of post-‐modern art in the tropics that has almost no basis in reality. This perception of his work as part of a greater whole that does not actually exist creates an interesting space in which he can operate, allowing him to play freely with the balance of referential and ‘thought out’ processes and the more aesthetically intuitive side of his practice. His Goldsmiths MFA show, entitled ‘Postropical’ featured several works that were meticulously devised over long periods of time. One work comprised a suspended shark’s jaw from which thousands of hours worth of delicately arranged celluloid video-‐tape cascaded. Others were more immediately improvised combinations, such as the floor installation of conch shells with inserted strobe lights. Some works therefore emerge from the studio as complete after a single intervention, while others require months of reimagining before they are resolved.
The concepts of craft and technical intervention are also integral to Curry’s practice. Through varied and often painstaking processes he strives to achieve perfect forms and textures. The work Untitled, 2012 (Illustration on card) is at first glance a purely intuitive assemblage, but many of the elements have been redefined in order for them to be ‘correct’ as part of the whole – the Conga drum base has been stripped, sandblasted and re-‐sprayed to pare it down to it’s essential form, while the white globe crowing the sculpture is coated in fine white sand.
In the end Curry’s work remains slightly removed from the labels assigned to it – more than absurdist or ethnographic his work is stridently postmodern, in the sense that there is no great reverence for a hierarchy of materials or processes. The delicately finished and the instinctively ‘thrown together’ both exist in Curry’s sculptures, and by allowing them equal weight he creates work that is elegant & perfectly poised – yet imbued with a playful and irreverent energy.
Blue Curry obtained an MA (fine art) at Goldsmiths College, London in 2009. He has shown in the United Kingdom, United States, Europe and throughout the Caribbean with a recent institutional solo show at Nassauischer Kunstverein in Wiesbaden, Germany. He participated in the 6th Liverpool Biennial and Art Basel, Miami Beach as well as in group shows in The Art Museum of the Americas, Washington DC, and the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Puerto Rico.