Art Review: Damien Poulain @ KK Outlet

By Kira Last edited 189 months ago

Last Updated 08 September 2008

Art Review: Damien Poulain @ KK Outlet

A relatively new space in Hoxton Square, KK Outlet is named after their publishing company KesselsKramer, which specialise in testing the boundaries of traditional publishing in their art-based book series. Through 14 September, art/retail space KK Outlet plays exclusive host to an original collection of graphic design art prints by London-based, French artist Damien Poulain. His Le Nouveau Riche exhibition holds a mirror to our cultural currency worship with notable standouts as the triptych collection of posters entitled Y.E.S., with each poster spelling out its letter in currency denominations of the Yen, Euro, and Dollar signs. Wine corks are used to spell out these letters, and upon close inspection you can see that they are emblazoned with pagan demon and monster images. Another large poster illustrates Humpty Dumpty on a brick wall, a nursery rhyme intimation of the inevitable fall of the Nouveau Riche and capitalism. Pay Back Later is an arresting neon green poster depicting a skeleton with a Pinocchio nose, the ground surrounding him littered with childlike images of rocking horses and toys.

The small collection — only around 10 prints are featured — challenge the notion of money as God in some striking images. There is no question that Poulain is a talented designer — his C.V. boasts clients such as Uniqlo, Adidas, Nike, Timberland, and more, but apart from a couple standouts, the overwhelming effect of the imagery in this exhibition isn't as potent or dynamic as the concept itself.

Photo taken from KK Outlet's website.