Fractal Veiling: Carl Fudge at Deutsche Bank New York
April 29 through June 8 2004, Deutsche Bank New York is showing
screenprints by the British artist Carl Fudge in its exhibition space at
60 Wall Street. Fudge has been living in New York for ten years; in 2003,
he was awarded a grant by the Deutsche Bank New York Foundation.
Spray, 2000 (c) Carl Fudge, New York
to the exhibition rooms of the newly occupied building of the Deutsche
Bank New York might well be in for a surprise. An encounter with the
screenprints of the British artist Carl
Fudge (1962) quickly recall the colorful patterns that mark the styles
of international youth scenes. It's no accident that the rich colors and
geometric/abstract patterns in the works are reminiscent of the flagrant
designs in fashion, comics, and the music industry. The artist takes his
motifs from illustrations of historical Japanese
drawings as well as from the world of Anime
and Manga comics.
Suit, 2001 (c) Carl Fudge, New York
follows his own special working method,
subjecting his motifs to an elaborate process in which he employs both
digital techniques and painstaking handicraft in the drawing and printing
of the works. The original can be read as a blurred trace in the abstract
compositions that arise: in the series Mobile Suit (2001), robots
popular sci-fi animation series "Transformers"
are distorted to appear as though they were emerging from behind a pane of
wavy glass; they could just as easily stem from historical depictions of
Japanese warriors. The duality that emerges in this game of contrasts
between an easily consumed pop aesthetic and the culturally charged image
motif reflects the artist's role as mediator between the world of the
everyday, advertising, and glamour on the one hand and the work of art as
a final product on the other. The artist himself remains in the background.
2003 (c) Carl Fudge, New York
screenprint Tattooed Blue (2002) forms a counterpoint to Mobile
Suit and portrays the torso of a weeping woman; the motif, borrowed
from the Manga repertoire of adult comics, is distorted in a similar way.
In terms of content, the artist has turned his attention here to the
private sphere, a theme he has also addressed in other works of the
exhibition. In Cliff (2003), he takes an erotic Ukiyo-e
image of 17th-century Japanese art to establish a reference to the
culture's rigid separation between the public and private spheres. In a
manner similar to the erotic drawings, which were only sold within a small
circle of initiates and were never intended for the public eye, Fudge
plays with the metaphoric and figurative veiling of the visual quote. His
fractal manipulations question the intelligibility of images hovering
somewhere between abstraction and representation, content and meaning. Not
least, they reflect the artistic dilemma manifested in the progressive
blurring of boundaries between original and reproduction.
Blue, 2002 (c) Carl Fudge, New York
exhibition can be seen Mondays through Fridays. Visitors are asked to call
for an appointment: + 001 (212) 250 3207. The artist will be speaking
about his work on premises on Thursday May 13 at 5 pm.