[“jeff the bastard” (2008), vinyl, variable dimensions. “democratic anarchists in disarray” (2008), screenprints. “death to the new” (2008), florescent paint, vinyl, variable dimensions. “brian” (2008), porcelain bust, paint, feathers, rhinestone collar. “roy” (2008), plaster bust, paint, gold leaf.]
once meaningful totems—if sinister for many—have become commodities. we need look only to the ubiquitous (and stylized) images of ernesto ‘che’ guevara that adorn countless t-shirts, posters, and other ephemera. artist scott king has bluntly knocked the stuffing out of such assumptive and presumptive phenomena in his show at bortolami gallery “the trial continues.” from the respective glam-rammed busts of vladimir ilyich lenin and karl marx to a joy division-inspired dot litany, king’s perspective has been playfully subversive—and inspired by various musical milieu. glam rock, punk, and disco swirl forth in a barbara kruger kind of way to undercut the post-modernist consumerism that has wreaked its own havoc upon political convictions and their various boundaries.
scott king, an artist and graphic designer from yorkshire, england, previously served in such capacities as the art director for magazines i-d and sleazenation. he has also designed record sleeves for the pet shop boys, morrissey, suicide, and roisin murphy (among others). brazenly—if sadly—king has harnessed the strong pulse of cynicism toward the ability of political action (particularly by the left). the perceived impotence and ineptitude of political aggregates to make any meaningful changes (in a world in which the actions of britney spears and paris hilton are actually considered newsworthy) are convulsive in king’s works represented in “the trial continues.”
while the economy and environment are in a shambles, why is it that the parasitic and inane media can actually waste its efforts chasing down john edwards about an irrelevant affair? haven’t we learned the lesson of the atrocious waste committed by parasite ken starr during the 1990s? who cares about someone’s carnal life while housing, medical, food, and energy costs rise? king’s images ask more important questions—not who or what we vote for, but rather how to cause an affray of words and images that raise the stakes of contemporary “confusion.” viral aesthetics of the parasitic govern king’s work: he uses the organs of the host to bring it down by its own means.
scott king: the trial continues
through august 22, 2008 bortolami gallery
510 west 25th street, nyc 10001