WLSER / WESTERN LIFESTYLE EVERYDAY RECIPE

2012

Review by Historias de Arte

More and more, we live in a world that aims to control, ups, sorry, I mean connect everything. New apps, gadgets and links... lots of links, some very useful some... not so much. And these are key ingredients of the WLSER (Western Life Style Everyday Recipe).
 

I assume that because we are witnessing so many different forms of connecting information every now and then, as a result we are unconsciously training our "analog" brains to establish links with any information we deal with. Far from being different to the mass this phenomenon affects me too. And I guess that this is how I ended up with this drawings.
 

With this exhibition I want to give you a bit of my imagination that I have managed to link to my hand, linked to a marker pen, then linked to a piece of paper. NOTE: If you do this same process you can have your own drawings ; ) I hope that on this exhibition you see reflected a bit of London, of 2012, the games and also a bit of yourself.

With these words, Iker García Barrenetxea (San Sebastián, 1979) presents his exhibition WLSER at The Vyner Studio, (it may sound familiar to you due to its recent exhibition "Barcelona Design meets London Design" coordinated with BCD during the London Design Festival in October 2011 edition). It is a small but dynamic space founded by the artist on his own, and located is in East London – a traditionally industrial area that is being redefined as a fundamental point for emergent British art, on the basis of the spread of art studios and small galleries during the last few years –.

Based on different forms of communication within the twenty-first century: new media, smartphone applications, gadgets and links usually found in social media and advertising. The way these “ingredients” blend within everyday life, Iker's illustrations bring us back to the simplicity and clarity of this: paper, line and black and white. The drawings are a reflexion and reaction to the Olympics, media social saturated has given us these unique circumstances. Characteristic of British society and identity, with which this young Basque has been living for more than 10 years.

Following this fundamental concept of “returning to the essence of art” deduced from the recuperation of drawing and the Olympic topics – returning to the fundermentals of the Greek philosophers who laid the notions of beauty or mimesis –, Iker presents an exhibition made up of original ink on paper drawings tacked to the wall. In this way, a maelstrom of black lines, inscriptions, caricatural portraits, athlete silhouettes, and illusions to a contemporary world's paradigmatic issues, filling the white space at Vyner St. in a direct reference to the cosmopolitan society.

The Exhibition's characteristics talk us about galleries' and artists' sustainability (beyond the elaborate artistic content). Apart from original masterpieces, the Vyner St. showroom offers “WLSER merchandising”; posters, small framed lithographs, T-shirts, this presented the possibility of including a “coloring book” for adults, made from compiling Iker's illustrations, where the viewer is invited to create their own masterpieces.

Presently, the “Low Cost Exhibition” idea is taking shape: online art fairs, debates via hashtags or exhibitions on the blogosphere are initiatives of a group of cultural managers who have already become aware of the culture's tortuous path in this time of financial crisis. Iker's contribution to this culture “pedestal drop” is a poster formated work of art that can be stored and sent in a cardboard tube, and shown from galleries to urban spaces. This way, Iker is offering his own answer to the contemporary question of how conservation and diffusion of classic masterpieces must be understood in this new economic landscape?

Thus, WLSER is presented as something more than a finite series of drawings, this is a concept that could include a wide range of “artistic products” reflecting on psychological characteristics of a contemporary global world, from punk pins to completed and delightfully framed works for “our wonderful halls decorated to suit the consumer” (in the artist's own words)

© 2020 Iker Garcia Barrenetxea.