12.02.2010

ICELAND Jason Gibilaro EXHIBITION

Jason Gibilaro’s latest UK exhibition, Iceland takes as its focal point the global banking crisis which has decimated so many economies around the world from its first cataclysmic impact in August 2007 until the present day.

Jason experienced at first hand the ugly consequences of unregulated corporate cowboy capitalism spinning out of control when he was invited by the Icelandic Association of Visual Artists to be their artist-in-residence  at Korpúlfsstaóir, a former milk farm converted into a block of artists’ studios just outside Reykjavik, in November 2008 – just as the entire Icelandic banking system went into freefall.

From the idyllic setting of Korpúlfsstaóir – where he completed a series of watercolour landscapes (Blue Divide, Korpúlfsstaóir and The Road Ahead are all featured here) – he was able to make a number of forays into the  disjointed centre of Reykjavik, a city now teetering on the brink of social anarchy as its shocked inhabitants  – many of whom had been made both bankrupt and homeless overnight as a result of Iceland’s financial meltdown –  took to the streets to vent their fury at both the country’s incompetent banking overlords as well as the government’s fiscal legislators whose over-reliance on financial deregulation had led to Iceland’s banks gambling away the hard-won savings of its investors on the unstable international money markets.

Jason’s documentation of the social upheaval he witnessed in Reykjavik is detailed in the series of charcoal-based, watercolour and acrylic drawings he made of the events that unfolded before him. In Mask, a gaggle of young protesters survey the fiery ruin of an apartment block, while in Who Is The Terrorist Now? I, II & III, the artist poses questions about the civil authorities’ response to social unrest that resonate with a wider significance beyond the streets of Reykjavik: what bloodcurdling scenes might be enacted in the vast metropolises of London, Berlin, Paris or New York were the catastrophe that befell Iceland in 2008 to overwhelm any of the world’s major economic powers?

This dark vision of a dystopian future in which the riot gear-clad agents of the state clash bloodily with their own citizens culminates in the apocalyptic centrepiece of the show, Meltdown. http://www.jasongibilaro.com/

Jason Gibilaro’s recent shows include:

The True King of England @The Golden Heart, London, 2007

The Residence Gallery, London, 2007

The Decima Gallery, London, 2008

The Guy Hilton Gallery, London, 2009

New York Townscapes @The Royal Overseas League,Edinburgh & London, 2008/2009

Meltdown @The NOID Gallery, London, 2009

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Inspired by Iceland