Known for his kaleidoscopic Pop Art, Ben Frost's mash-up paintings take inspiration from graffiti, collage, photo-realism and sign-writing.
After a recent collaboration with fashion designer Jeremy Scott for his Winter 2018 Moschino line, the Australian artist is now presenting Pure Sugar, a playful new collection that explores the nature of “excess” within our contemporary society. Using colourful and dynamic pop art motifs, the artist presents a series of satirical and provocative observations of western culture that is as sour as it is sweet.
On show at downtown Los Angeles’ Corey Helford Gallery from 6 April, the exhibition consists of over 70 new paintings, from large-scale acrylic and spray paint stencils on canvas, to tiny hand painted "found" packages such as McDonald fry boxes, pharmaceutical packages, fashion bags and cereal boxes.
Both a celebration and critique of consumerist culture, Frost’s work is paradoxically a love/hate affair with the colours, icons and logos of the advertising world that we are obsessively immersed within.
"Sugar is something that we all know is bad for us – but we crave and desire it so badly," Frost tells Creative Boom. "It’s a metaphor for how we experience the world, a level of attraction and repulsion that keeps increasing as we dig deeper in the mediated social media environment that continues to spoon-feed us a 'quick-fix' to cure all our problems. After all, a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down."
Frost’s work unveils a dystopic vision of society from behind a saccharine-sweet facade of Disney characters and the advertising. Each painting requires further inspection because, on first glance, the kaleidoscopic colours and perfectly executed clean lines are intoxicating. Looking more closely, the fantasy is not what it seems. The nostalgic dreams mutate into subliminal subversions, with unlikely juxtapositions that question our relationship to the things we hold so dear.