A leading portrait photographer before moving from her native Australia in 1989, Polly has earned her reputation for specializing in stylized portraiture and offbeat reportage, often charged with themes of sexuality and identity. Now for the first time, the lens faces the other direction.
Through interviews with the likes of Cate Blanchett, Nick Cave, Will Self and husband, film-maker John Hillcott, we see beneath the fantastical exterior; the insecurities and the motivations that drive this exceptional woman to such dramatic, bizarre and unforgettable imagery.
The exhibition presents a selection of works that span the past 10 years of the artist’s career, including his elaborately layered paintings and New York Times collages.
Fred Tomaselli is known for his visually packed paintings that are hybrid in materials, subjects, and cultural references. A single piece may be comprised of brightly colored passages of paint, photo-collage, found images from field guides and magazines, and drugs such as aspirin, marijuana leaves, and ecstasy pills. These materials are layered onto wood panels and suspended in slick epoxy resin. Tomaselli’s stylized works range from psychedelic-patterned abstractions to idealized representations of allegorical figures, animals, nature, and the cosmos. The more time spent with the artist’s paintings, the more details emerge, and the works become increasingly complex and dynamic.
Tomaselli’s mesmerizing scenes bend reality through visual stimulation and seduction, illustrating the utopian and transcendental abilities of art. His works also comment on the artifice of suburban America in the 1960s and 1970s and the subcultural quest for escapism–whether it be reached through hallucinatory experiences or trips to amusement parks such as Disneyland–realities that are particularly tied to the artist’s upbringing in California during those years. On his work, Tomaselli states, “It is my ultimate aim to seduce and transport the viewer into the space of these pictures while simultaneously revealing the mechanics of that seduction.”
Tracey Emin and Harland Miller, two names synonymous with London’s contemporary art scene, come together in 'Dedication', the latest episode of the series in conjunction with EDITION Hotels, shot by their old friend, the long-time documentarian Johnnie Shand Kydd.
“Rather than a collaboration, I see it more as helping each other out,” says Emin. “When I was a younger artist, we all used to do that.” Emin rose to international fame in the late 1990s as one of a new wave of British conceptual artists championed by collector Charles Saatchi, and featured in his seminal exhibition of 1997 Sensation. While Emin and Miller muse on the focused and frequently isolated world that artists inhabit in this video, they also discuss their occasional collaborations with other artists, including each other.
Miller has published several novels and become known for his large canvasses depicting satirical, fictional Penguin covers, and in 2008 organized an exhibition, You Dig the Tunnel, I’ll Hide the Soil, at London’s White Cube Gallery, where he asked artists as well as Emin to make a work as a response to a particular piece of writing by Edgar Allan Poe. Emin obliterated Miller’s own contribution to their joint work by painting over it, but Miller remained unfazed. “That’s a positive part of collaboration,” says Miller. “You have to take it on the chin.”