Ben Frost's Plague Landscapes
Ben Frost is an Australian artist who currently has a solo show of his trademark pop-collage paintings on at Brooklynite Gallery in New York. He is an extremely prolific, talented producer with excellent technical, conceptual and aesthetic skills. Frost one of my favourite contemporary artists, so it's great to see his work starting to get the international recognition it deserves.
His current show ‘Plague Landscapes’ provides a disturbing interpretation of contemporary landscape painting by representing the infectious side-effects of the media landscape.
Whilst advertising assaults our sense of self-worth, cartoons and other mediated arts engorge our fantasies and dreams with impossibilities. Frost captures this melding of plastic realities as its signs and symbols grapple for control of our identity, deep within our subconscious.
The urban landscape is the context in which much of the media landscape is built: from dense tourist attractions like Times Square with its frighteningly larger-than-life animated billboards, down to the underground movement of street arts and their interventionist and situationist strategies to reclaim this territory as their own. Frost combines these elements of the media landscape, appropriating content from advertising, magazines and television, and then reinterpreting it through street artist techniques like sprays, stencils and markers. The result is a pwnd mass media, with dripping, imperfect lines and inappropriate recontexualisation. Frost is an underground interventionist who has reclaimed the content of his subconscious, making the mass media’s defilement of his personal psyche part of his own identity.
Collectors can still pick up a few of his works at Brooklynite Gallery until July 18, priced around $5,000 USD. Prints from $500 (update: framed prints are $500, unframed are $350).