Pop culture club

Sometimes, your inbox is filled with dull Google alerts and irrelevant junk. Other times, you can open it to see what is apparently a neon green penis in a paint pot, a distinctly unhappy placard shouting ‘Happy’ in plywood lettering, and a gnarled, tangled take on the Olympic logo.

Nicky Carvell, Fall of Chrome
Rob Leech, Suck

No, this isn’t a dystopian nightmare or a lazy junk filter – this is what you can expect to see at the Cheap Flights exhibition that opened last week in – you guessed it – London’s Shoreditch.

The exhibition shows work from Nicky Carvell, Rob Eagle, James Howard and Rob Leech, and, from what we’ve seen; you should go armed with an open mind, and possibly a pair of strong sunglasses.

Rob Leech, Suck
Rob Eagle, Happy

Aside form the aforementioned paint phallus (AKA Suck by Rob Leech) and Rob Eagle’s Happy, visitors can also ‘enjoy’ what we presume to be a wry, artistic glance at the ‘cash converters’ style ads cropping up left, right and centre: James Howard’s Gold Rush.

Nicky Carvell, Fall of Chrome
James Howard, Gold Rush

Howard – who earned his fair share of headlines when Saatchi bought his entire Royal Academy Graduation show in 2007- uses spam emails to create collages with Photoshop.  The resulting ‘quasi adverts’ aim to explore the idea of a new digital age that preys on people’s insecurities and desires.

Nicky Carvell’s work  – including the Fall of Chrome sculpture – uses commercial visuals to create dynamic, energetic artworks.

Nicky Carvell, Fall of Chrome
Nicky Carvell, Fall of Chrome

All of the artists whose work features in the exhibition are Royal Academy of Arts graduates, and are linked by their use of popular culture references and samples in their work.

The bold, striking works on show merge humour, irony and nostalgia, taking their cues from imagery seen on the high street, Internet, and television, among other things.

Cheap Flights runs from 5 November – 23 December, The Fort, 34-38 Provost St, N1

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