James Burke Exhibits as Artist in Residence at the Affordable Art Fair
Fine Artist and Acrylicize Founder & Creative Director, James Burke premiered a body of two and three-dimensional work at the Affordable Art Fair at Battersea Spring last week.
Following the reveal of his major public artwork In Anticipation in the heart of Shoreditch last December, and the recent premier of his interactive artwork The Constant Need For Approval at the 250th Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, James was selected to take on the artist residency for the London edition of the international fair, creating a series brand new artworks to be exhibited in the space. Welcoming over 185,000 art enthusiasts each year to the fairs globally, visitors can take their pick from a mix of local, national and international galleries showcasing an array of affordable artworks by established artists and rising stars.
James’ new collection titled So Much More explores what lies behind the language of commonly used icons and symbols, whether there is depth to the new forms of communication that we use in this digital age, and what our collective value systems rely on. The series of artworks are executed in a variety of explorative mediums, with select works heavily encouraging visitor interactivity, asking the viewer to take a moment to consider what it is they truly aspire to, and what really lies behind their influences. Are we living in a truly ‘great’ and technologically advanced time, or are we being destroyed by our ability to showcase life as a faux reality in easily digestible bite-size chunks across social media?
The collection includes artwork Twenty is the New Thirty, James’ Road Sign series Portraits of Modern Britain, which questions whether in a society where youth is valued over almost everything else, are we conditioned to want to alter our appearance at an increasingly young age? Another in the collection, The Middle Class represents the inability to shift your perceived social class – no way up, no way down.
Artwork Living in a Cave plays with the idea of the blue plaque as a traditional signifier of a life of value and achievement, utilising the icon of the blue ‘verified’ social icon to question modern day worth and status in the age of social media. Verified Stamps continues the exploration into the coveted blue tick, presenting the stamp as currency whilst questioning our idea of status and authenticity. A visual study into the value system placed on so much of our modern life, One, Two, Three, Four, Five follows the theme of self-evaluation and the search for approval, whilst artwork Camouflage is a study in to the way we present ourselves online vs. the reality, with Burke asking, “is life really all smiles? Doesn’t it all feel a bit…plastic?”
Interactive artworks The Constant Need For Approval and Everything and Nothing further explore the highs and lows of our relationship with digital and social media, questioning the effects of our newfound addiction to the brief euphoria that we experience on a daily basis via online gratification, and looking at our validity and perceived worth in the age of the internet.