GALLERY46 presents the first solo exhibition of Cardiff-born artist Sam Drew – with Limited Edition screen prints, paintings and posters.
Sam Drew is a Cardiff born artist, interested in painting, illustration and screen print. In here are a selection of pieces from the vast collection of scenes Drew has created around his Lumps universe, displaying a range of technique and style. The subject of these works tends to juxtapose the everyday with the incomprehensible; tasks like the weekly shop, visiting a museum, or eating ramen, take on a surreal energy in the House of Lumps – so take nothing for granted. Exploding the mundane of our world into the extraordinary detail and delirium of a Lumps day out is Drew’s stock-in-trade, leading him to produce work that is vibrant, mischievous and at times provocative.
These scenes can turn tiny, even microscopic, whether we find ourselves looking into life inside an ashtray, a bowling ball, or the fish tanks in the fridge, the scale of this world is always up for grabs, keeping us guessing (the Lump in the bowling ball has bowling ball holes in his head…)
The surrealist figures that inhabit the House of Lumps pop up in unexpected places and often as unexpected objects; beer cans, coffee makers, house bricks – the list is endless – yet their world, with it’s colourfully dystopian overtones, resonates clearly with ours. Their supermarkets, buffets, and afternoon entertainment may differ in detail, but the vulgarity feels starkly familiar.
Whether the grinning complicity of the inhabitants of Drew’s world is an allegory for broken capitalism is unclear. In fact, the scope of the Lumps universe seems to avoid allegory altogether, instead there is equally a world of joy, mischief and adventure to be found in the actions and expressions of characters in these scenes. From one perspective, the grime and body hair can blend with the psychedelic surroundings to feel like a bad trip, a society gone wrong; from another, there is something liberating about the shirtlessness, the androgyny, the blurry line between person and object, the smiles.