StolenSpace presents ‘The New Pollution’ by Ben Frost
Words by Bossman75
With his work currently showing at the group exhibition “Product Displacement” at the Corey Helford Gallery in California, and having shown new work for ‘Pop The Streets’ at Saatchi Gallery in London earlier this year, Australian “Pop Artist” Ben Frost is back in town for a solo exhibition at Stolen Space.
The title of this exhibition ‘The New Pollution‘ reflects the unwanted and pervasive nature of advertising that infiltrates our visual and conceptual environment. It also describes the artist’s exploration of painting onto found objects and urban refuse – such as pharmaceutical packaging, candy and cereal boxes as well as fashion bags, board games, vintage stamps and ammunition packages.
“The literal definition of ‘pollution’ is to: ‘introduce a contaminant into a natural environment to cause adverse change’. I see this as an overall metaphor for the juxtapositions that I use in my work, where I take pre-existing icons and logos and introduce opposing elements to create new dialogues.” – Ben Frost
In ‘The New Pollution‘ Frost makes us question how the elements of popular culture and advertising influence our everyday lives. Our urban environment is ‘polluted’ with the banal detritus of our hyper-consumption in the form of logos, billboards, colourful packaging and animated characters that aggressively compete to sell us endless sales pitches, disposable solutions and discount lifestyles. In his work Frost creates a reactionary dialogue against this pervasive and dictatorial experience, by appropriating and re-contextualising the very icons and totems that advertising feeds to us.
Packaging is the quintessential and final form of advertising before consuming the product it envelopes. By painting directly onto the flattened surface of a used package, Frost not only engenders a statement of environmental recycling, but also makes a self-referential statement about what was once inside it. Crying women on Valium and Oxycontin packages reflect our quick-fix obsession with mental health, graphic sexual acts on McDonald’s fry boxes express our distaste for their product and insane clowns on Chanel fashion bags metaphors for the lengths we go to look beautiful.
The exhibition runs from 10th July to 2nd August, for more info and to request a buyer’s catalogue visit Stolen Space HERE.