Pop fragments

‘The word is very important to me,’ says artist David Spiller. ‘I did a painting that was just a big “A” once; it was me tipping my hat to Johannes Gutenberg, because without his invention we would never have had books and all those wonderful stories I used to get lost in as a kid.’ A new exhibition at Beaux Arts in London will show some of Spiller’s latest work and the importance of words to it. Fragments of lyrics and other phrases combine with blocks of colour and motifs from popular culture on giant canvases, machine-stitched together. Spiller’s past, such as memories of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck cartoons, fields of sunflowers and blue advertisements on the side of French barns that ‘stood out like beacons in the landscape’, has always played as important a role as the present in his process. ‘The words and images just pop into my head, which is full – like everyone else’s – of this and that,’ he says. ‘A Bob Dylan song, a passing thought, snatches of the cricket on the radio.’ Graffiti also informs his art, as does his initial training in graphic design in the 1950s and the influence of Bauhaus and typography, which ‘had great aims,’ says Spiller. ‘To speak in a language that everybody could understand.’ What the well-known lyrics and recognisable pop-imagery might evoke in viewers is ‘entirely up to them’, he adds. ‘I don’t have any expectations about the effect of my work on people. It’s enough if they want to stop and look.’

David Spiller: Tryin’ to Get to Heaven Before They Close the Door is on at Beaux Arts, 22 Cork Street, London W1, from 9 September to 3 October

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  • dafmc12 November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Why is this news-worthy or even considered important? can no-one think of anything new?This poor effort can’t even be justified as kitsch or ironic… its just pointless! Andy Warhol, Basquiat and Roy Lichtenstein did this 50 YEARS AGO!!!! is this really the best London has to offer in 2009? Is it really design…what the hell is it communicating? “clever” visual referencing does not equal good art or new design. Writing off an audience and their expectations reveals arrogance and narcissism. The “artist’s” work and statement is very boring and contrived in my opinion, I’d be very interested to hear if anyone else agrees?

  • ivan riis November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    “”clever” visual referencing does not equal good art or new design.”
    Agree 100%

  • blamo November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    very tedious looks like the poor man’s stuart semple copy

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