Sometimes you’ve got to turn into something to understand it better.
Around a decade ago I started trying to document capitalism. I experimented by making deliberately super-commercial pieces of art.
My latest work, Shelf-Respect, is designed to mirror consumerism. I wanted to go against the concept of art being 'a painting in a gallery' and instead have my art viewed and bought by thousands online and in shops across the globe.
For this piece I decided to design my own gift-card range and get major retailers to stock them.
Why gilf-cards? Because gift-cards are things people pay for to help them to create real human connections. They represent how consumerism and emotions are wrapped around each other. I think it’s central to capitalism that we express ourselves via mass-produced factory-made products. If I buy and send you one does it show you I care, that I'm thinking of you?
I always wondered how much real emotion was in the ones I received...
I started this project in 2016. By 2019 the cards were being sold by over 40 retailers throughout the world including major retailers in the UK. YAY!!!
And now that the piece is finally over and I’m out the other end, I feel like I’ve lost my self-respect.