We may be living in turbulent political times, but one new-gen creative is making the most of global unrest. Step forward Luke Norton, whose hot new exhibition is taking the capital's contemporary art scene by storm
He’s being touted as the new Damien Hirst and counts fashion doyenne Dame Zandra Rhodes and illustrator Barbara Nessim (both spotted at the private view) among his fans. But artist and poet Luke Norton – whose solo art exhibition I Haven’t Been Feeling Myself Lately is currently showing at gallery@oxo on London’s South Bank – is hoping to achieve more than 15 minutes of fame with his cool, contemporary pieces.
‘The world is pretty messed up right now,’ he says, ‘but I think of art as therapy. It makes people think and feel again. It provides hope. And I think we could all do with a bit of hope these days.’
Given the world’s stormy political climate right now, I Haven’t Been Feeling Myself Lately has shot to the top of Team MC’s must-see list. So what can you expect from this directional, breakthrough exhibit?
Well, splashes of neon paint, probing poetry and ironic twists, for starters. Norton masterfully transcribes beautiful, intentionally provocative prose onto everyday items and materials to create sculptures that transcend the mundane.
Norton constructed ‘Forever’ – a piece of glittering wall art (top) – from ripped cardboard and rhinestone rings; ‘Brexit’ (below) from vintage playing cards, cotton patches and plastic letters; and ‘America, She Picks The Trumps’ from a framed needlework image of a flag-bearing eagle. Below it hangs a mosaic-adorned pendant that showcases the word ‘hope’ in wooden letters, anchored by Blu-Tack. Yep, this is achingly cool territory.
He created it all from the comfort of his spare room over the course of a year, but the issues raised in this body of work reach far beyond those trendy walls in Camberwell.
It’s instinctive, gutsy, expressive stuff. We like it. And if you’re looking for a little ray of hope this weekend, you will too.