Todd James "Business as Usual" @ Galeria Javier Lopez, MadridJuxtapoz // Monday, 16 Sep 2013
The Galería Javier López begins the exhibition season with the specific project ‘Business as Usual’ - the second solo show in our country by American artist Todd James (New York, 1969). The opening will take place in the context of APERTURA 2013, an event organized by the Contemporary Art galleries association ArteMadrid.
In this exhibition, James presents a variety of works from numerous of his series and themes. The title of the show refers to the artist’s perception that, despite recent apocalyptic fervor, the status quo maintains its dominance throughout the world. War machines rumble on, pirates can be seen on the horizon, women lounge poolside, walls get written on… This is James’s milieu, all represented here in the form of large scale acrylic paintings, cut sheets of paper, marker drawings and installation. These works can loosely be seen as a time line of his work, from early subway painting to his gallery and museum work.
The exhibition will include the recreation of James’ “Vandal’s Bedroom”, the sprawling, graffiti filled structure that was a highlight of the ‘Art in the Streets’ exhibition at LA MoCA. This version of the work is equally dense with information. Part object, part installation, this teenage vandal’s bedroom-turned-graffiti-battle-station gives glimpses of plans for an imaginary artistic takeover. Bleeding marker drawings form letter styles from the rough and tumble 1980s New York subway era, combined with re-purposed cartoon characters performing decidedly off-model activity. A clutter of color, slogans, fantasies, and affiliations is all barely contained, ready to spill out of this eat, sleep, and breathe environment. The piece is a celebration of early influences and an exercice of traditions that remain relevant, holding up better than ever.