TODD JAMES’ WORLD DOMINATION AT LAZARIDES GALLERY LONDON
Currently on display at London’s Lazarides Gallery is a fantastic show of new work by Supertouch buddy Todd James (aka: REAS), the central theme of which is the continuation of his beautiful and funny “Somali Pirates” series. Often in colorful headgear and masks, and brandishing secondhand AK-47s and RPGs, these pirates are pictured in their everyday pirate routines: smoking, drinking tea at sunset, preparing weapons, standing guard. Rendered in a vivid tropical palette, these works vibrate with goodnatured menace, and pointedly address David and Goliath themes of survival, justice, ingenuity, and ownership. Also on display is a recreation of “Vandal’s Bedroom,” the gorgeous, sprawling, graffiti art-filled structure that was a highlight of the “Art in the Streets” exhibition at the LA MoCA. Part object, part installation, this bedroom-turned-graffiti-battle-station gives glimpses of plans for an imaginary artistic takeover. Bleeding marker drawings form letter styles from the seminal 1980’s New York subway era, combined with repurposed 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 funky eat, sleep, and breathe environment. If you’re in or anywhere near London, consider this essential viewing and make the trek before the show closes on April 15th.
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