Jon Burgerman: SIM CITY 6 April – 27 April 2023 OMNI 56-57 Eastcastle Street London W1W 8EG
OMNI is pleased to present Jon Burgerman’s newest exhibition, Sim City, a collection of maximalist, highly saturated works in his iconic visual language. Sim Cityshowcase’s eight large new aerosol paintings on canvas alongside 19 works on paper and an eye-bleeding immersive video installation. Burgerman’s instantly distinctive characters, that feel freshly painted, and candy flavoured hues examine paradoxes of contemporary life.
The works suggest overpopulated urban environments, where space is at a premium and the characters vie for attention. Displaying a wide spectrum of emotions across their inhabitants, the seemingly upbeat compositions propose that despite the need for company and to be recognised, many of the forms are disconnected and even isolated. This striking collection, created at the start of the year, is influenced by a wide range of artists and movements, including the jazzy compositions of Stuart Davis, the playfulness of expression of Jean Dubuffet and the loose gestural mark making of Cy Twombly, particularly in the dryly titled ‘Cry Twombly’, 2023.
Animation and 90’s video games also strike inspiration for Burgerman, as evidenced in the smeared facial expressions (smearing images is a technique to suggest movement in animation) and flat 2D plains that make up each composition, such as in ‘Parklife’, 2023 and ‘Upstairs Downstairs’, 2023. The title Sim city is a reference to the seminal 1990’s city building simulator game of the same name by Will Wright. Burgerman considers parallels between game playing and world building with art making and to the simulations we necessitate for ourselves in our everyday lives.
I want to make expressive and open works, where the viewer can not only play with narrative strands suggested by the characters and forms, but also emotionally connect with the textures, colours and very fabric of the painting itself.”
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