Ways of dealing with consumerism: how has my art evolved

I am going to try to answer these question in this post

  • How has my art evolved?
  • What are the common threads?
  • What has stayed the same?
  • What has changed a little
  • and what has a lot?

To start with I am going to give you a whistle stop tour of the changes in my art to show how it has evolved.  In 2004 I started considering ways to deal with the negative effects of consumerism through art.

©Stuart Bush, A study for being normal 1 (2006) oil on canvas 51 x 71.5 cm
©Stuart Bush, A study for being normal 1 (2006) oil on canvas 51 x 71.5 cm £376 + shipping enquiry
©Stuart Bush Blind boy (2007) oil on canvas 50 x 70 cm
©Stuart Bush Blind boy (2007) oil on canvas 50 x 70 cm – £650 + shipping enquiry
©Stuart Bush, The Kingdom (2009) oil on canvas 150 x85 cm
©Stuart Bush, The Kingdom (2009) oil on canvas 150 x85 cm – £2800 + shipping enquiry

 

©Andy Warhol, Campbells soup cans 1962
©Andy Warhol, Campbells soup cans (1962)

I immediately knew I didn’t want to celebrate its over bright, flashy and showy side, the way Pop Art mirrored consumerism, for example the 57 varieties of Campbell Soup.  Warhol’s pop art mimics the production line by using repetition.  He was trying to tell us about the times in which we live.  Campbell’s tomato soup, is available to everyone and you can have this too but it is a trap, it’s a prison.

©Stuart Bush, Walking that cat walk 2013 oil on canvas 100.3 x 130 cm
©Stuart Bush, Walking that cat walk 2013 oil on canvas 100.3 x 130 cm – £1400 + shipping enquiry

I went through a period of considering whether creating edgy work would be a good way to create a new body of work.

©Carl Andre, Equivalent VIII, 1966
©Carl Andre, Equivalent VIII, 1966

It took me a long time to realise that the minimalist artists also had disdain for consumerism. Minimalist artists presents a contrary and opposing view in the way their art deals with consumerism.  Art works like Carl Andre, Equivalent V, mimics the emotionless and blankness of consumerism. Life has become dominated by consumerism and we are its submissive servants.

©Stuart Bush, A section of ourselves as a commodified object 2016 oil on aluminium panel 80 x 120 cm
©Stuart Bush, A section of ourselves as a commodified object 2016 oil on aluminium panel 80 x 120 cm

As I worked to find a subtle way to deal with consumerism in my work I considered this as a response to minimalism.

What are the common threads? What has stayed the same? What has changed  little?

The common thread throughout the work have been how I have started each work.  They have all started with street photography.  From there they have also always had a relationship back the original photograph they came from.

And my final question was what has changed a lot?

What has changed a lot is my understanding of art.  I think the explanations of Andy Warhole and Minimalism highlights that.

 

‘A study for being normal 1’ (2006) ‘Blind boy’ (2007) and ‘The Kingdom’ (2009), are currently available for sale.

Here

Or contact me by email or Facebook if you have any questions or comments.

 

 

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