Modern art’s detractors may say ‘that’s so simple, I could do that’, while the contemporary art world refutes this claim and takes itself very seriously. Richard Jackson plants himself firmly in the middle of these two camps by creating high energy works that are engaging and ultimately fun.
Rather than seeing the creative process as something secretive, the LA-based painter has created a set of explosive works in situ within a gallery. It’s obvious how the paintings were created but that still didn’t stop us from wanting to see how it was created, but the artist has insisted this should remain a mystery to the viewer.
Four mannequins are bent over, paint was fed through their mouths to explode out of their rear ends in a spatter of colourful diarrhoea. It’s a cheeky dig at how some artists create work on a production line, and somehow feels very British despite Jackson being American.
Another risqué work features a sex doll straddling a photocopier as the floor is littered with copies of her genitalia, including a giant version on the wall. One of our favourites is the recreation of a shower room where red, blue and yellow paint has been sprayed from shower heads — showers are where we’re naked and at our most primal, neatly tying in with Jackson’s choice of primary colours.
Critics often dislike introducing humour into art, fearing it will trivialise it, but we’ve seen artists like Martin Creed and the Chapman Brothers use it to great effect. Richard Jackson’s work is along similar lines, making for a colourful and witty exhibition.
Richard Jackson: New Paintings is on at Hauser & Wirth, 23 Savile Row, W1S 2ET until 26 July. Entrance is free.