Unrest explores the aesthetics of the recent London rioting of 2011. In the British artist/designer's representation the riot spectacle is reduced to the media outrage - evoking nihilism through the language and holding echoes of the language of 'punk' from 30 years earlier: 'Anarchy in the UK'.
UNREST explores the aesthetics of the recent London rioting of 2011. Toby Mott reworks background reproductions of the riots via tabloid newspapers combined with punk vivid colours , drawings and mixed media. In his representation the riot spectacle is reduced to the media outrage - evoking nihilism through the language and holding echoes of the language of 'punk' from 30 years earlier : 'Anarchy in the UK'
Notions of this nihilism and anarchy, strong characteristics of both punk and contemporary culture are represented in background prints, composed from cut and pasted tabloid images of the rioting and accompanied by the bold sensationalist headlines. Contrasting this, Mott introduces a luxury aesthetic to the work by incorporating motifs and slogans written in precious gold and silver, symbolizing the unmet aspirations amidst the unrest. His technique of utilising the mechanized processes of screen printing in addition to the metallic foils creates a distance from the subject and through this, a removed luxury commodity is produced; the paintings become a neutral representation of the vacant repetition and banality of the violence.
Throughout this exhibition meaning does not adhere solely to individual images but rather to their accretion over time. Viewed singly, these content loaded pieces seem miraculous transfigurations of realism, but when seen in groups they form a continuous landscape of memory, regret and melancholy.
The new paintings also reference Mott’s earlier work with the radical art collective The Grey Organisation and their direct actions, notably covering the windows of cork street galleries in grey paint in 1985. Political activism has always been a strong driving force behind Toby Mott’s artistic output and is still apparent in his latest artwork which is witty and always unabashedly rebellious.
Selected exhibitions include shows at White Columns, New York, The Thomas Soloman Garage, Los Angeles, Kunsthal KAdE, Amersfoort (NL), Maureen Paley, London, Galerie Philippe Rizzo. Paris, Tate Modern, London and Santa Monica Museum of Art, Los Angeles. More recently Mott has won acclaim for the Mott Collection, an archive of UK punk rock and political ephemera that includes over 1,000 posters, flyers and fanzines which was being showcased at Haunch of Venison, London and Honor Fraser Gallery, Los Angeles, MUSAC, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León,Spain and Andrew Roth Gallery, New York City.
Private view: Friday 9 September 6.30- 9pm
274 Poyser Street
Open Wednesday - Saturday 12:00–18:00
Other days by appointment only