WOTSIT ALL ABOUT @ Gazelli Art House : James Ostrer

I love to eat – Kit Kats or cookies-and-cream ice cream. I need sugar like five times a day – Kim Kardashian

As part of the Window Project, Gazelli Art House will present the commissioned photographic works by  National Portrait Gallery Curator’s Choice, artist James Ostrer, from the 30th July 2014. The images,  referencing icons of contemporary sugar worship, Ostrer’s imagined result of a corrupted globalization  and increasingly dangerous methods of food production, will occupy the glass facade of the gallery and  spread over the ground floor. A glimpse into a post apocolyptic world which has been destroyed by mass  production, we are encouraged to question the decisions that are made for us: Wotsit all about? James Ostrer’s (England, 1979) photographs of sugar adorned subjects allude to the history of primitive  art, synthetic dietary sugar intake, and an irreverent twist on the absurd in which societal practices of  ingestion oscillate into a nightmarish world of abject effrontery and nutritional disillusionment. The works are feverishly and painstakingly created tableaus with layers of sweets and foodstuffs being  applied to a human subject, often the artist himself, which, when staged, are photographed and patterned  for re-consumption through the distribution of photographic practice. Speaking largely on the twentieth and twenty first centuries’ dietary concerns and sugar’s uncomfortable place within this, Ostrer’s photographs  conjure metaphorical allegories as Ketchup flows as tears down frosted cheeks and Kit Kats’ mouths  bark back with menacing grimaces. This adornment becomes a mask of what we eat which then becomes  entwined with a hyper-pop sensibility and an obsequious inquiry into the great volumes of sugar that flow  through our bodies.

James Ostrer’s work often tests the limits of the body politics in the ever evolving analysis of the western  body, sexuality, and society. In 2009, Ostrer staged “Customer Container”; an installation in which the  artist used photographs of himself taken by six different prostitutes under which the only condition was  that they order him to perform as they wished. In 2011, his portrait of Nicky Haslam in Lucien Freud’s chair  was chosen for the Taylor Wessing exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. The artist lives and works  in London.

Window Project Dates:
31/07 – 11/09/2014
Location:
Gazelli Art House
39 Dover Street
London W1

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