June 05, 2010
June 05, 2010 - July 02, 2010
Digital Media, the new solo exhibition by Skullphone, brings the playfulness, obsession, irony and anxiety of the Los Angeles-based artists’s renowned street installations into the Subliminal Projects gallery space. In Digital Media, Skullphone examines the contradictions inherent in outdoor digital signage, demonstrating cause for both wonder and concern over the increasingly ubiquitous medium. The artist explores advertising, government and private enterprise signage, and the California landscape on which outdoor media proliferate, making permanent on panels what is removable and reprogrammable in outdoor space.
Although of the same spirit as his past work, Digital Media marks a distinct visual departure for the artist. His use of mirror-polished, black-painted aluminum panels is a cold and slick leap from past works on found wood, weathered metal, and wheat-pasted paper. Skullphone’s painting technique employs a deliberate dot grid system, and his painted color is expanded to a limited palette of red, green and blue. This shift corresponds to the artist’s recent inspirations and exploits with outdoor digital media. Through painted pointillism, the imagery dislocates as the artwork is approached.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Best known for his bold, sinister and witty black-and-white image of a skull holding a cell phone, Skullphone began installing his artwork on city streets in October 1999. In addition to his overlapping appropriation outdoors – reworking, enlarging, and repeating imagery – Skullphone’s oeuvre has expanded through re-contextualization indoors.
Skullphone sparked controversy and conversation in March 2008 when he “hacked” his classic imagery into the first digital billboards in Los Angeles, anchoring his image as a stigma within this new visual veneer. As both megaphone and white noise, the imagery left local and online audiences to their own devices to consider issues of current and future mobile phone connectivity, personal privacy, targeted advertising, outdoor artists, outdoor art programs, urban blight and life in Los Angeles.
Skullphone has recently shown at New Image Art Gallery and the Riverside Art Museum, and was featured in MOCA’s 2009 FRESH Auction.