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Bruce Asbestos 'Gallery Went Pop' - FAD Magazine

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Bruce Asbestos ‘Gallery Went Pop’

Broadway Gallery to present Gallery Went Pop a new ambitious exhibition by artist Bruce Asbestos. Presenting a plethora of inflatable sculptures, gargantuan screen-prints and thousands of stickers, where Bruce Asbestos takes a maximalist and playful approach to exhibition-making.   

Production Sketch for Broadway Gallery

Gallery Went Pop is a thorough investigation into the face of one of Bruce’s characters ‘Rest’, a giant yellow worm, whose face becomes a hyper-repetitive-icon throughout the exhibitions.  

Video @caustic_coastal 

Bruce started working with cartoon characters in 2019, including painting versions of Spongebob Squarepants and Mickey Mouse. He wanted to start building his own fleet of characters to deploy in a range of painting and sculptural work.

Bruce Asbestos said:

“This exhibition is trying to understand on a really basic level how you make an icon or a character, what are all the combinations that make a really great cartoon character? At what point is the face recognisable as a face? and at what point does it become its own icon? Rather than a version of Pikachu, Minions, Mr Happy, the ‘rave’ Smiley or Nirvana’s smiley with the X for eyes and the wobbly smile?” 

“I wanted to both make an exhibition that is fun, but I’m also seriously looking at what could make a new icon, I wondered what happens when you repeat, repeat, repeat, what meaning is lost or gained through that?” 

His work draws from a rich history of painting, sculpture, popular culture, folklore and fairy tales. His work frequently mixes everyday objects with high art, fashion and responds to global pop culture. His interdisciplinary practice combines performance, painting, clothing, social media, video games, curating and many collaborations.

Ok! Cherub! Installation at the Bluecoat, Liverpool continues until 5th June – Photo (C) Rob Battserby

Bruce also has an exhibition Bruce Asbestos: OK! Cherub! running concurrently in The Bluecoat courtyard until 5th June 2022.

Ok! Cherub! Installation at the Bluecoat, Liverpool continues until 5th June – Photo (C) Rob Battserby

About the artist

Bruce Asbestos earned a degree in Fine Art from Nottingham Trent University, winning a scholarship at Musashino University, Tokyo, and went on to the Hive business school. He obtained a Master’s Degree at Nottingham Trent, during which he was awarded a scholarship at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. 

Recent projects and exhibitions include, Ok! Cherub! Bluecoat, Liverpool (solo exhibition) S/S 2021, Power, National Justice Museum, S/S 2020 Bonington Gallery, Bruce Asbestos X Juliana Sissons, Primary, A/W Collection, Kunstraum, London, A/W 2018 Nottingham Contemporary, Arts Council International Fund project to NYC and Philadelphia, Bruce Asbestos A-B Testing, Concrete, Hayward Gallery, London. MTN DEW, Commission by EM15 for ‘Sunscreen’, Venice Biennale. Ivan Poe / Reactor, Plymouth Art Weekender. He was nominated for the £300,000 Paul Hamlyn Breakthrough Fund 2013/4.

Bruce Asbestos S/S 2020 is part of the Government Art Collection.

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