Performative art comes in many forms but none so distinctive than David Henry Nobody Jr's bonkers, fictional characters that sport body paint, unusual masks and wearable sculptures made up of all kinds of random objects.
Known as the "bad boy artist", the alter-ego creative calls his practice 'Resemblage', a kind of mixture of "resemble and collage", to give us an amusing yet disturbing take on the dark side of American pop culture and politics, humanity as a whole, notions of 'self' and modern-day narcissism with the rise of social media platforms.
For his latest series, on display via Unit London's Platform virtual gallery until the end of the month (hey, our inbox is swamped), Nobody Jr brings us more of his mixed-media constructions where he makes himself the focus. Covering himself in body paint, wrapped in different things – from pretzels to doll heads and Barbies – each "performative armour", as he calls it, reveals a character that is "pleasure-seeking yet grotesque" and "unable to recognise their unsightly and alien forms".
"My experiences watching the Trump presidency and the public's reaction to the Virus show that the spin or recording of something can often be more important than reality," says Nobody Jr. "In a world becoming harder to decipher between reality and 'fake news' facts and science can be denied. 'Resemblage' can be hideous in its truthful damnation of the propaganda of its time. I'm just playfully showing what I feel and see, much like artists as Otto Dix did in other dark political times. Like a clown, I am complicit in the self-deception of the now."
Ten per cent of proceeds from all Platform exhibitions are donated to a charity of the artist's choosing. In David Henry Nobody Jr's case, he is supporting The Campaign Against Hunger: an organisation that helps thousands of vulnerable New Yorkers by giving them the food and resources they need to survive. Discover more at davidhenrybrownjr.com.