Today's Obsession: Adrian + Shane
I am completely bananas over Adrian + Shane’s art right now. I ran across them last year, maybe middle of the summer, and since then they’ve put out a flood of angry, funny work. They’re a couple of artists working as one entity since 1998—a phenomenal achievement in and of itself. Working with another artist for any amount of time is a complete bitch; doing it for over a decade shows an understanding and devotion many people simply can’t pull forth.
Their work strikes me as sort of a more modern look at the ideas we got from Gilbert and George, Andy Warhol, Barbara Kruger, Tibor Kalman. The sense of propaganda is there, so’s the pop repetition and instant art, but there’s more punk to it. More spray paint, more Xerox, a little more like the work that came out of Act Up! In the late eighties and early nineties.
There’s a sense of belonging to the present, a deep connection to pop objects like Barbie, Madonna, and their own image. The thing I think is notable about their work that I didn’t see in older pop art is the ability to immediately perceive of these icons as a part of their own personal vocabulary. There’s never a sense of exploring something they’ve never seen before—more like upending a crate of Barbies and having a bitchy little fight with all their toys. It’s pretty magnificent stuff.
Image from their blog, and their Flickr stream.