Todd James / REAS: Fantasy Island
Words by Bossman75
I saw the work of Todd James, aka REAS, on apparel and vinyl toys for brands like Nike, Stussy and recently Puma before I ever saw anything close to what he does on a wall or canvas. My first personal experience was a video installment at the Brutal Exhibition in 2013 (curated by Lazarides) that depicted war using characters including buxom blondes, smiling warheads and aircraft bombers. The video no more violent than an episode of SpongeBob Squarepants and yet horrifying in it’s portrayal of real life, and our denial of what is going on. In what was a very dark exhibition, the content was perfectly suited but the style in which it was portrayed was deceiving. And that’s what Todd James does. His work gives you what you need to know in a manner that’s intoxicating, seductive, captivating and virtually inescapable. A private view of his latest solo exhibition is being held on the evening of April 30th, with the exhibition open to the public the following day. PR details below and HERE:
Lazarides Rathbone is pleased to present Fantasy Island, a hyper-coloured new solo exhibition by New York-based artist Todd James / REAS.
The provocative showcase features a striking cast of modern-day Somali pirates, UN soldiers and scantily clad females that have become synonymous with James’ work. The seamless mix of luminous compositions and graffiti-infused erotica extends the artist’s exploration into current socio-political affairs, continuing to stretch the boundary between the obscene and the humorous.
Alongside the gallery exhibition James is set to install a Chevrolet van on Rathbone Place, developing ideas first initiated in the artist’s Vandals Bedroom, featured at LA MOCA and Lazarides’ World Domination. The van will draw on fantasy art influences from the analogue age of his youth alongside a customised cluster of all-American 1970’s ephemera. The Fantasy Island Chevy will play host to the exclusive release of Beyond The Gates, James’ most recent 32-page full colour book available to purchase on the opening night.