Art Review: Mum Man @ Paul Stolper

Has humanity reached the peak of its evolution, and is a kind of devolution the our only way forward? The artistic duo of Shaun Doyle and Mall Mallinson take a humorous look at this concept through both drawings and sculptures — from the self-explanatory Homo Chavo to the skeleton with elongated arms from years of carrying heavy shopping.

These cheeky works were a hit with the viewers we spoke to, and though they made us smile it was the subtler ‘handyman sculptures’ that were our favourites. They look at how the common Sunday destination is no longer the church and more likely to be a DIY centre. This is portrayed by a crucified Christ being sculpted on to tools such as a spade and a mallet, though a bust of Christ being attacked by tools seems at odds with the fact that the transition from religion to DIY has been natural rather than violent.

The last set of works are child’s play houses that have been boarded up and are falling apart as if squatters have moved in. Besides the playful element, it’s also a sobering reference to lost childhood, and lack of security in the modern world. Though these smaller models carry much less impact than the full-scale version we saw at last year’s London Open.

Whether you like your social commentary light and frivolous or with a bit more bite to it, Doyle and Mallinson have created an engaging mix of artworks to meet both tastes.

Mum Man — Shaun Doyle and Mally Mallinson is on display at Paul Stolper Gallery, 31 Museum St, WC1A 1LH until 27 April. Admission is free.

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