Sarah Lucas, ‘Situation Romans’, installation view, New Burlington Place, London
At the start of last year Sarah Lucas opened Situation - a London-based project space featuring an organic program of events and installations by the artist, and sometimes others. Her latest show, Situation, Romans (above) is killer, and features Lucas’s classic abject pantyhose forms and other perverse content (check out the wall frieze).
Rohan Wealleans & Sarah Lucas, ‘Situation White Hole’, installation view
Given her penchant for the prurient, it’s no wonder Lucas struck up a friendship with New Zealand artist Rohan Wealleans when she undertook a residency in Auckland care of Two Rooms in 2011.
In the middle of last year, Lucas invited Wealleans to be part of another situation (above). Situation White Hole featured works by Lucas alongside photographs from Wealleans’ Origins series, initially exhibited at Ivan Anthony in Auckland. Wealleans blew the original images up to monstrous scale for Lucas’s show, so that her humble toilet assemblages were flanked by enormous, almost alien ladybits – all encrusted with the artist’s signature paint ‘gemstones'; kind of like Courbet’s The Origin of the World meets high art vajazzling. One can’t help but wonder whether the close up scrutiny of male members in Lucas’s latest show is in direct response to Wealleans Origins objectifications.
Wealleans in Thailand last year
En route to London Wealleans made a stopover in Thailand and had this rather magnificent photograph taken of himself in a local mall. While he’s undecided as to what to do with it, he does have another suite of Origins-style snaps in the pipeline. Watch this space.
Rohan Wealleans and Karl Fritsch, Knuckle Fresser, opens at Ivan Anthony, Level 1 ANZ Building, Corner East Street & Karangahape Road, Auckland on October 31st (that’s tomorrow!).
Rohan Wealleans, 'Freyja', 2011
Rohan Wealleans, Origins, opens at Ivan Anthony, Level 1, ANZ Building, Corner East Street & Karangahape Road, Auckland, on Wednesday 27th of July. R18 (you have been warned!)
Ngipi Ward, 'Nissan', 2007
Whilst looking at indigenous artist Ngipi Ward’s painted car bonnet at GOMA, Leg of Lamb couldn’t help but think of Rohan Wealleans. There is a curious kinship in the artists’ layering and excising of paint, that reveals the accumulation of colours beneath. Rohan’s had a go at painting a bonnet too, earlier this year he created A thick cream (below) for a Kidz First charity raffle in Auckland.
Rohan Wealleans, 'A thick cream', 2011
Rohan Wealleans, photographed in his home by Sam Hartnett in September 2009
Leg of Lamb loves kiwi artist Rohan Wealleans. From his Waikato Contemporary Art Award-winning flayed paint ‘vaginas’ to his B-grade inspired Horrorgamis and delicate millefiori style paint-chip arrangements, the artist’s vivid imagination delights… but sometimes offends.
A bout of illness meant that Wealleans was unable to perform a paint ritual at this year’s Asia Pacific Triennial at the Gallery of Modern Art in Queensland, so the artist sent his twin brother, Shane, instead. Decked out in a formal Polynesian suit, Shane’s improvised performance incorporated bastardized haka moves, attempts at Te Reo and a series of clicks that remotely resembled the dialect of the South African Xhosa tribe. Needless to say, it’s difficult to watch.
In the latest issue of Art and Australia curator Emma Bugden described Wealleans as “a white man whose work behaves badly in a climate of correction, and in doing so makes us think about the question of permission”. This show of cobbled indigeneity, while in keeping with the artist’s penchant for fictionalised characters (and even worlds), pushes appropriation to the limit.
The Asia Pacific Triennial at Queensland Art Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, runs until April 5, 2010.