This poster derives from a painting by Ashley Bickerton of the same title. Here the artist talks about the formulation and the production behind the painting itself:
‘“Famili” is the Bahasa Indonesian spelling of the word “family”. Two things drove the formulation of this painting: on the one hand, I really wanted to make an all-white painting; on the other, I had been studying early posed family photographs as well as commissioned oil portraits from even earlier times. From a contemporary vantage point, the earlier subjects seemed both presumptuous for a photographer or a painter as they had to. The use of possessions and costumes to craft the sitters’ identities seemed literal and didactic. Here, the captured moment attempts to re-create that perfect formal pose but deliberately lands a few seconds off the mark. Mightily declaring themselves to the viewer (i.e., brandishing both a sword and a palette while wearing a confusion of culturally mismatched attire), the subjects are farcically out of sorts. I tried to heighten this effect by making them a tight formal unit, an explosive knot of colour against the general whiteness.’
This quote comes from the Ashley Bickerton monograph.
Ashley Bickerton was born in Barbados in the West Indies in 1959. He studied at the California Institute of the Arts before moving to New York, and became one of the ‘Fantastic Four’ along with Jeff Koons, Peter Halley and Meyer Vaisman. Their work, known as ‘Neo-Geo’, caused a sensation, and the next few years proved intoxicating for Bickerton. Over the last twenty-five years, Bickerton has exhibited throughout Europe and America and his work is in several public art collections.
Recent solo shows include Sonnabend Gallery, New York, 2004; Singapore Tyler Print Institute, Singapore, 2006 and Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York, 2008. Bickerton took up residency at the Singapore Tyler Print Institute where he created a series of complex works with multi-layered mixed media such as lithography, monoprint, digital print, cast paper and assemblage. His work was also featured in an East Village USA retrospective at the New Museum of Contemporary Art New York, 2004; Tomorrowland: CalArts in Moving Pictures, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2006; The Fractured Figure, Deste Foundation, Athens, 2007 and SAND: Memory, Meaning, and Metaphor, The Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, New York, 2008.