Bankley Studios & Artists Gallery

Axel Bottenberg

My work references pop art of the 1960s and its re-emergence in the 1990s onwards. I graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1989 at a time of Thatcherism, Poll Tax riots, and the birth of the YBA phenomenon. My work engaged with the spirit of the times and drew from the youthful aggression and buzz at the time. My degree show coincided with Thatcher’s 10th anniversary and was an ironic take on monetarism, nuclear proliferation and yuppie excesses.

Like the old masters of the 60’s, I plunder and borrow icon imagery and ideas reconstructing or manipulating them in the form of paintings, 3D works or drawing. Purposefully selecting imagery to provoke strong responses in the viewer, I often use ‘low art’ iconography such as religious kitsch, tattoo and street art. My works juxtapose characters such as clowns, guns and bombs against traditional wall paper fabrics, golden backgrounds and art historical references creating kitschy or sinister undertones.

My practice is supported by ARTZU

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