Martin Basher: High Class Boner Meds / Paradise Sale

 

Taking its name from internet spam emails selling Viagra, Martin Basher’s exhibition uses iconic everyday images and objects to ask questions about what our consumer society wants and believes in. His work features exquisite photorealist paintings of beaches and hands, collages, cryptic placards and signs, and sculptural assemblages featuring a variety of consumer goods and fluorescent lights.

His work plies the ocean of contemporary culture and the backwaters of spiritual deficit, focusing specifically on the ways that desire (material, physical, sexual, spiritual) is bound with consumerism, belief and politics. Piling images and icons together in what look almost like haphazard arrangements, Basher’s work destabilises straight heirerachies of taste, quality and class. Material goods are plentiful, lifestyle is easy, interest is low, but gratification is elusive.

Martin Basher (b. 1979) grew up in Wellington but has lived in New York for a decade. He holds a BA in Fine Art and a MFA, both from Columbia University in New York. He has exhibited widely in New Zealand and internationally. He recently completed a three-month residency at the McCahon House Studio, in French Bay. The work in this exhibition was made during this time.

5 August - 5 September 2010

 

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