This exhibition showcases editioned works by International artists Jeff Koons (USA), Damien Hirst (UK), Xing Danwen (China), Anthony Goicolea (USA), and Patricia Piccinni (Australia), alongside local New Zealand artists Reuben Paterson and Dick Frizzell.
Works exhibited by Koons and Hirst show both artists transforming iconic imagery from their careers into inventive multiple works. Jeff Koons (1995) is a major boxed set of images profiling the artist’s career, including the Michael Jackson and Bubbles ceramic sculpture from 1988, and the sculpted bust of Koons and his former wife Ilona Staller embracing each other. The boxed set also includes one of Koon’s various blow-up figures in the form of an elephant. Hirst’s Painting-by numbers takes the DYI approach, supplying the owner a paint kit-set, with which to create your own Hirst ‘dot’ canvas.
New York based Goicolea and Melbourne based Piccinini both explore issues surrounding genetic modification and cloning, using photography and digital manipulation to create challenging and thought provoking works. Exhibited from Goicolea’s hyper-real Landscape series is Forestand Glacier. Originally shot on location in the South Island of New Zealand, Forestis adorned with bright sunlight and breath-taking views, while at the same time marred with a digitally manipulated infestation of maggots and butterflies. A similar contradiction is set-up in Glacier, with ice steps leading directly to a cavernous ice pit, creating a sense of peril.
Piccinini’s Synthetic Organism 2 (SO2) series from 2000 presents an artificial life form in typically suburban settings - sitting in the front seat of a car, in a parking lot, interacting with children - in much the same way that a pet dog might. An underlying commentary in Piccinini’s work looks at the normality of genetic engineering and its place in contemporary society.
Chinese photographer Xing Danwen’s work explores the increasingly apparent effects of Western modernity on Eastern cultures. In particular, Xing is concerned with the modernisation of technology and science, and its impact on the environment.Works exhibited from the disCONNEXION series were taken during Xing’s frequent travels to China’s Guangdong Province. Along the coast, more than 100,000 people and migrant workers make their living by recycling piles of computer and electronic trash, operating in rough environments and social conditions. The resulting large-scale images bring new-life to these recycled materials and create intricate abstract colour fields, reminiscent of American artist John Chamberlain’s metal sculptures, often produced from car wrecks.
Also exhibited are new screen-prints by gallery artists Dick Frizzell and Reuben Paterson. Frizzell continues with his renowned 4 Square and Tiki iconography, while Paterson’s glitter screen-prints are reflective of both his kowhaiwhai and palm tree landscape series.