|SAM JACKSON | Colossal Youth (Part 2)|
|Exhibition Dates : Friday March 28th – Saturday May 3rd 2014|
|CHARLIE SMITH LONDON is delighted to present Sam Jackson with his third one person exhibition at the gallery.
‘Colossal Youth (Part 2)’ represents the second phase of a body of work that takes as its starting point the topography of youth sub-culture, with the first phase being Jackson’s recent solo presentation at Volta New York. Influenced by both contemporary and historical high and low culture, Jackson draws here on the iconic photography of Derek Ridgers. Documenting street and club culture in the 1970’s and 80’s, Ridgers surveyed the vanguard of punk, skinheads and new romantics. The raw urgency and do-it-yourself attitudes embedded within these movements are mirrored in Jackson’s instinctively guttural paintings, where his portraits and figures are hewn with text that recalls rough, homemade tattoos and graffiti. The text represents a cognitive statement and a definitive point of reference while the subjects themselves project a sense of contemplative melancholy.
Jackson’s sexual paintings range from mildly erotic to graphically pornographic. They refer to the overt sexualisation of the postmodern era that manifested itself stylistically in the 1970’s in punk and fetish, since when such underground tropes have inevitably come to occupy mainstream culture, encouraged by evermore open media coverage; absorption into high street fashion; de-marginalisation of sexual minorities; and increasing prevalence of internet pornography. This evermore conspicuous sexuality is absorbed by Jackson and filtered from image to painterly surface, undergoing a shift where the transgressive is interwoven with a unique delicacy.
The subjects in Jackson’s paintings, therefore, derive from various sources, reflecting current tendencies in an image obsessed society in the internet age, where traditional notions of private and public access have been transformed. Images from Polaroids, magazines, video clips and the internet are used to explore the worlds of DIY tattoos, addiction, homemade and amateur pornography, fantasy, excess, youth culture, violence, Baroque and Renaissance painting, failure, literature and music.