Emma Gibbons: Barbiecore Friday 30th June 2023 until 29th August 2023 ME Hotel 336-337 The Strand London
Emma Gibbons, leading UK pop artist has joined forces with curators Gone Rogue to launch her biggest London solo exhibition to date ‘Barbiecore’ at the ME Hotel, Strand in central London on Friday 30th June 2023 until 29th August.
A celebration of all things pinks, sparkly and chaotically camp, ‘Barbiecore’ opens in the capital just in time for Pride week and will be open to the public during the UK launch of the new Barbie movie. Gibbon’s latest body of work features 100,000 of Gibbons signature glitter and resin filled capsule pills.
Set against dramatic sloping black marble walls in the modern and architecturally unique bar and foyer at the ME Hotel on The Strand the new exhibition will see ajoyful and irresistible collection of Gibbons signature glitter pill filled resin ice lollies, ‘Bad Barbie’ glitter pill sculptures, her ‘Barbie’ logo, ‘Hot Mess’ and ‘After Party’ glitter pill sculptures with the addition of dolls house miniatures and Barbie doll paraphernaliathrown into the mix. Brand new limited edition Barbie Parfum artworks will also feature glow in the dark hot pink neon resin, polymer clay hearts, confetti and glitter.
Prior to pursuing art as a full time career, Gibbons worked for seven years on some of the most high profile international exhibitions with Damien Hirst. Now one of the fastest growing pop artists in the UK Gibbons is well known in the industry and amongst collectors for her showstopping artworks using eye-popping neon resin colours featuring handmade glitter and resin filled pharmacy grade pills. Gibbons is a regular at Saatchi’s The Other Art Fair and The Affordable Art Fair.
Her work can be found in galleries throughout the UK with collectors in New York, LA, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Gibbons collectors include Barbie herself Margot Robbie who brought a piece for her California office while filming the Barbie movie in the UK last year. She also counts Zoe Ball, Danny Dyer and Dawn French as fans and collectors.
Following exceptional success in 2022, with a sell-out solo show in Piccadilly, she is excited to be back in London with Gone Rogue paying homage to one of her favourite popular culture icons. Gibbons has always been inspired by Barbie’s famous pink hues and unapologetic excess so it was only a matter of time before this pink obsessed pop artist launched an exhibition inspired by her, Gibbons says, “I feel that Barbie and I share an aesthetic. She embodies everything I am trying to achieve in my work. She’s playful. She’s accessible. She’s pink. She’s glittery. She likes designer labels. She likes a catchphrase! I basically think we share the same DNA.”
Speaking about Margot Robbie’s purchasing her work “Margot Robbie buying the Bad Barbie piece from me last year was just incredible; a real career highlight. I genuinely can’t think of anyone I would like to own a piece of my work more than Margot!”
“When Gone Rogue approached me to do a show at ME, and I realised the show would span the Barbie Movie release, it just felt like destiny. It’s only a stone’s throw from Leicester Square, where the UK premier is taking place on July 21st. Sometimes the universe has plans for us that are beyond our control – it was my duty to run with it” she adds.
Gibbons continues, “The preparation for this show has been a joy. I can’t get enough of working with pink glitter resin! This brief makes me so happy and the studio is overflowing with glitter and Barbie paraphernalia. There’s something incredibly bonding about Barbie. I’m not sure whether it’s nostalgia or the colour therapy, but the studio is at its happiest when we’re going full BOMBSHELL!”
Despite the exhibition’s uplifting colours and subject matter Gibbons is keen to remind her collectors that all her work continues to have a subtext that deals with consumerism, excess and addiction.
She says, “The pills are the very building blocks of everything I create; they are beautiful little vehicles of colour, but to me they carry a message about how easy it is for the things we love to start overwhelming us, control us even. The fact that it takes hundreds, usually thousands, of pills to create every piece is a comment towards our desire as humans for ‘more’ of everything.”
Growing up around excess and addiction Gibbons has had her own battles with those same destructive behaviours as an adult which led her to get sober several years ago. Gibbons adds, “At the beginning of my sober journey I was really concerned that my life would be less glamorous and less fun without alcohol. So on a very personal level what I want to achieve with my work is the full-throttle glittering, glamorous party experience, but without the drink, and without the hangover! I want to prove that life can be big and bold and fun and beautiful without alcohol or chemicals.”
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