Friday 1st of May 2015 to Thursday 28th of May 2015
Featuring Todd James / REAS
Lazarides Rathbone is pleased to present Fantasy Island, a provocative new solo exhibition by New York-based artist Todd James. The vivid body of hyper-coloured works extends the artist’s exploration into current socio-political affairs, continuing to stretch the boundary between the obscene and the humorous.
The large-scale paintings depict a fantastical reality far removed from the safety of Western existence, seducing the viewer with a seamless mix of luminous compositions and graffiti-infused erotica. The satirical showcase features a striking cast of modern-day Somali pirates, UN soldiers and scantily-clad females, adorned with AK47s and over-sized sunglasses whilst basking against tropical backdrops of never-ending sunsets. James illuminates contradictions in our contemporary landscape with playful scenes loaded in metaphor; armed soldiers balancing cups of tea in armchairs and sexualised women brandishing heavy weaponry. The duality of the work is key to the American artist’s long-term practice, carefully balancing stylised animations against the stark reality of the times we live in.
Alongside the main gallery presentation James is set to transform a vintage Chevrolet van positioned outside the gallery doors, expanding on childhood references first curated in his Vandal’s Bedroom, installed at LA’s MOCA and re-constructed during Lazarides’ World Domination in 2013. The artist’s manifestation of personal spaces draws on fantasy art influences from the analogue age of his youth, comprised of a customised cluster of all-American 1970’s ephemera. The Fantasy Island Chevy will play host to the exclusive launch of James’ most recent self-released book. The new publication, entitled Beyond The Gates, features a myriad of heavy metal-inspired swords and sorcery girls in a haze of fluid lines and sensual scenes.