Large-scale paintings, 3D stereogram prints, format wallpapers, fun house distortion mirrors, collage works on paper and sculptures; these are the factors that make up the densely woven chronicle of generational displacement from My Sonic Youth – an exhibition created by Stuart Semple.
My Sonic Youth will be the LA debut for one of the UK’s most significant post YBA artists, Stuart Semple, in which his powerful yet controversial artworks will flood the Fabien Castanier Gallery in Culver City this October. Following a traumatic near-death experience whilst he was studying fine art in his preadolescence years, the young artist has gone on to exhibit in over 15 solo exhibitions internationally – including China, Italy London and NYC. Much of his work presents a highly emotive and sociological perspective on mass culture, which resonates particularly in his paintings. But most importantly his work illustrates how spaces, communication and music have changed drastically over recent periods of time, which has forced this generation of young people into a new kind of isolation. Thus, music and art history (heavily inspired from his youth) are dissected and constructed into a fluid narrative that tells the story of a radical social and emotional shift among youth culture.
“My last series of work explored the idea that my generation and subsequent ones are the ‘Anxiety Generation’. It talked about the way that the horrors of history had been buried over time and how the media serves as a numbing and stimulating antidote to that hidden fear. In the new series of works for ‘My Sonic Youth’ I am charting the course to that state through the rise and fall of the teenager as a social category. The work draws comparisons between the inversion of public and private space and the rise of the Internet and ‘anti-social’ media. The work also draws on a wide remit of inspiration from the prophetic song lyrics of the music of my youth, found photography including imagery from recently released Seattle Police Department photos of Kurt Cobain’s death scene, archive images of Warhol’s scars and images from internet-trash culture,” said Semple.
In his work, Semple explores the transition of youth culture throughout the decades and pinpoints the most significant pivotal change; this cultural shift and feeling of displacement all in all affected a social anxiety regarding the safety and well-being of society’s youth. Self-image and the rise of social media, music and technology has resulted in new experiences and the way things are seen and consumed are now different – there’s been a transition into some kind of non-reality. Therefore, Semple’s paintings aim to deal with nostalgia, with a strong focus on bringing imperfection, clumsiness and ambiguity back to well-known storylines whilst analogously charting the demise of the teenager.
The opening reception will take place on Saturday 24th October, from 6-9pm.
Fabien Castanier Galler, 2919 La Cienega Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232
My Sonic Youth will be accompanied with a limited edition vinyl record, which will include a custom soundtrack featuring collaborations with several musicians (all proceeds will go to a youth charity).