From Andrew Frost…
There must come a time when every young artist must ask themselves a fundamental question about their practice: will I paint a portrait of a pop star? And if so, whom shall I choose? Will it be Nick Cave, the choice of so-so artists everywhere? Or perhaps it could be Jim Morrison, Mick Jagger or perhaps evergreen demigod David Bowie? This last choice has enjoyed something of resurgence lately and Nigel Sense’s show Heroes and Zeros at Charles Hewitt Gallery features not just Bowie, but also Jagger, Ringo, Lemmy, Thom Yorke and the Ramones.
Happily, Sense’s work is parodic and satirical, taking the pop art melange for a walk across a series of large-scale canvases in which art stars and pop stars do battle like a bunch of alcoholic, broken down and legendary superheroes. Bowie comes in for a pasting as he realises that nothing post Ziggy Stardust will ever be as good, while Brett Whiteley pops up a s cake addled clone warrior from Star Wars. Young Ben Quilty makes an appearance, as does the late Adam Cullen in the company of his ‘sidekick’ Chopper Reid, an unfortunate misunderstanding of the Superhero sidekick equation in that particular relationship. Sense’s work however has a familiar, comforting kind of humour and it’s hard not to enjoy its widescreen, colourful and anarchic fun.
Until September 16
Charles Hewitt Gallery, Marrickville.
Pic: Nigel Sense, David Bowie – Superman, 2013. Mixed media on canvas, 100x100cm.