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Curatorial Statement

Art that borrows and appropriates from commercial culture and mass-media is a relatively new phenomenon. What began in the 1950s as Pop Art has since evolved and diversified into more crude and disorienting interpretations of an exponentially growing consumer culture. These new practitioners hijack and co-opt contemporary commercial languages - that of the internet, computers, advertising, video games, and everyday objects - in order to subvert their original intentions and deconstruct their cultural ramifications. They also celebrate the beauty therein.

This method of critique is noteworthy for its ability to be both visually alluring and eerily familiar, thus disorienting. By speaking a familiar language, the work's message reaches a potentially unassuming audience, one that might be confused at the site of commercial imagery in an art context.

Blurring the line between the languages of art and commerce, these works provide a medium for viewers to re-examine the quotidian, and to question the images being sold to them.

This exhibition seeks to catalogue these various cultural critiques as they appear in the work of RISD students, showcasing a breadth of unique perspectives on a wide-range of existing visual languages across consumer culture.

December 2-January 29, 2017
Curated by: Cem Eskinazi MFA 17 GD and Drew Litowitz MFA 17 GD


Poster, RISD, Gelman Student Gallery


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